Douala : Japoma Stadium Triggers Development

Hardly has the Japoma stadium gone operational than it has begun having a positive effect around its surroundings. The construction of the stadium has triggered a transformation of the surroundings from a thick equatorial rain forest to an ultra-modern residential area ushering a building construction boom around the area and consequently boosting commercial activities. “In the past, people were rare in the area, claiming it was too far and there were no roads,” said Dzomo Mveng Celestin, a resident. “But since the construction of the stadium and the access roads, there has been renewed interest. Even people who had abandoned their plots, are now clearing it. That is for those who don’t have money to construct now. Many people are seeking to buy land in the area and consequently this has ushered a hike in the price of land,” he added.

Makeshift structures like a carpentry workshop, plank depot and block factory that were situated at the main entrance to the stadium, have been demolished as people could be seen taking the remnants of their belongings, making way to a vast expanse of unoccupied land. Houses and businesses are cropping up like mushrooms everyday along the Triumphant Entrance while people are practising land reclamation along the access way passing through the River Dibamba. It is not uncommon to find messages such as “Private land, No trespassing” affixed on little boards in front of pieces of land. Others have but trips of sand and gravel dumped on them while construction work is in progress in many sites.

In anticipation of the coming football tourneys, some people are setting up recreational businesses such as bars, hotels, building material shops and restaurants around the area besides building houses for rent. “Since the construction work began there has been an increase in business turnovers” said Tebeukeu Bridget Laure, a restaurant owner. “I am trying to renovate my restaurant in preparation to receive customers during the football competitions”, she added.  “Now my clientele are mostly workers of the various construction companies working in the stadium and access roads”, she said. An old hotel known as “Net and Jet” has received a face lift after renovation and is now known as “Net and Jet New-look”.  The owners says there has been an increase in business since the tarring of the Triumphant Entrance. Even commercial motorbike riders are also reporting an improvement in business since the tarring of the access road passing through to Nyalla. In a nutshell, the construction of the stadium has triggered development in the area.

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