CAMEROON: KUMBA-MAMFE ROAD, AT LAST A REALITY AFTER MORE THAN 50 YEARS.
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Inhabitants of Mamfe and Kumba in the south west region of Cameroon are yet to believe their eyes that a highway that had reduced them to abject poverty and underdevelopment due to its seriously degraded nature has finally been tarred.
Dwellers of Mutengene, Limbe, Kumba and Mamfe are more than happy as almost all their constituencies are linked with tarred road now. Their lives have changed suddenly as harvested crops do not get rotten in their markets places again. “The road is good now, we can take our yields to the neighboring towns and make more money”. Said one market woman. “If it were to be in the past, they will rot here and our work will go in vain”. She continued. Business men and women are now living a new era. The 151 kilometer highway, though 20% to completion has now become a bliss to ply on.
Travelling from Mamfe to Kumba, then to the other parts of the country was a real nightmare. We would always plan our trips far ahead, because the road was so bad and transport cost was very costly, 6000F CFA or even double in the rainy season, as compared to 3000F CFA standard price that it is now. Women were not allowed on board the vehicles, as they are not physically strong enough to push the later when it will stick in the mud. Many families buried their love ones in the bushes by the road side because the corpses were getting decayed after many days spent on the way to their various villages. Mamfe, Eyumojock, Ekok and other towns of the far South West region were like completely cutoff from the rest of Cameroon. Trading was mostly done with, neighboring Nigeria.
“For more than 50 years we had lost interest with what happened in Cameroon”. Mr Agbor Benson, an elderly inhabitant of Mamfe said. “In the days there was what we called, – Mamfe come down and Mamfe go up. Because the road was so narrow and bad, so that it could only be used once in a day. But today with the tar we are linked to Bamenda, to Kumba, to Ekok and to Nigeria. This has brought a boom in our local economy. Many modern houses are springing here and there because of the ease in transporting building materials”. He continues. Travelling has become a real pleasure. Transport agencies are around with nice buses and comfortable sits. Development is a reality in Mamfe today. This road has come as a life saving solution which has been an all-time cry of the people. Patient can easily be ferried to hospitals. With a good highway present, the two Anglophone regions in Cameroon now hold hands.
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