Experts of the devolved services of the Ministry of Public Works will henceforth offer technical assistance to local councils as they seek to improve their road networks through the Labour Intensive Approach. The Minister of Public Works, Patrice Amba Salla, on August 25, 2015, in the Forestry School in Mbalmayo, Nyong and So’o Division of the Centre Region, signed an agreement with Mayors from the Centre, East and South Regions. It was the first phase of what Patrice Amba Salla refers to as a milestone to government’s commitment to foster decentralization.
The Ministry of Public Works has since the execution process transferred FCFA 27 million, up from FCFA 13 million to each council area for road maintenance. Taking into consideration the fact that the decentralization law recommends that in addition to means, powers should also be transferred to local councils, the ministry decided to put its staff at the disposal of the local councils for efficiency in the maintenance of municipal roads. “After transferring financial resources, we are offering our personnel for the efficient use of the resources for the change of the livelihoods of Cameroonians,” the Minister said. He explained that the country’s economic growth drive could be impacted positively if councils maintain the network of farm-to-market roads.
From the Mayor of Atok in the East Region, Dieudonné Day-Zal to that of Monatele in the Centre Region, Tsala Messi Andre, Mrs Mpang Gisele Rose, Mayor of the Doume Council in the East Region and Joseph Abebada, Mayor of the Ombessa Council in the Centre, the concerns are the same. All of them expressed satisfaction at government efforts through the Ministry of Public Works, while praying that the partnership yield fruits and impact the livelihoods of its denizens.
The Mayors were handed maps indicating existing and yet-to-be created earth roads. The move is expected to prompt local councils into action as they benefit from the technical assistance of local State engineers for the execution of their projects. Through the agreement, Mayors are to embrace the concept of Labour Intensive Approach that intends to open up the employment universe with stress on youth.
Between 1996 and 2003, government undertook reforms that obliged the Ministry of Public Works to move from the “all governed” to the “all private” system of road maintenance. This was due to a flop in the former that led to the increased degradation of the country’s rural road network in the 1980s and 1990s. — Source : Cameroon Tribune