Traveling from Douala to Yaounde is now a nightmare due to the recent bridge collapse. We used to blame drivers on the highway for being the cause of most accidents. Rather, it’s evident that most of the accidents in Cameroon are rooted in the lack of maintenance and poor conditions of roads in Cameroon. We are disheartened of the injury inflicted on our fellow citizens caused by the collapse of the bridge between Boumnyebel and Mbankomo Douala-Yaounde road. From the pictures, this bridge was suffering from lack of maintenance and old age to withstand the pressure from the stream.
This is a clear evidence that Cameroon has an issue with roads. For example, Traveling to Bamenda by bus is a hell of an experience; ”pot holes” on the roads make the journey longer and exhausting. These pot holes on the roads have resulted in a plethora of road accidents leaving travelers injured and some losing their lives.
The French phrase “La route ne tue pas mais c’est nous qui tuons” is no longer true in Cameroon as the potholes and old bridges keep travelers lives at stake on the highways. This great damage will not only affect travelers, but it will hamper the movement of goods and services.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS ACCIDENT
An emerging nation such as Cameroon should have alternative roads and the effective use of other modes of transport such as air and the waterways to all the regions. These diverse modes of transport infrastructure will enhance the movement of good and services.
Constant repair and maintenance of roads. Roads wear out more than you can think, especially the ones in Cameroon which are not properly constructed. Priority should be given to the improvement and maintenance of roads in Cameroon. If we are still traveling on colonial roads, then we are stagnant as far as development is concerned.
Proper allocation of road construction projects to competent companies with a sustainable budget. Most of the time our local contractors accept road contracts of inadequate budget leading to poor outcomes. As a result, such roads don’t last and with little or no time you begin to notice potholes and cracks.
The Cameroon government should not tie the construction of roads and other developmental projects to events. For example, great events such as the AFCON bring forth developmental projects or when a president plans to visit a region.