Some patches of roads in Buea have gone several centimetres deep following the wear and tear of the tar. Amid the thick and thin road users go through, the local administration of the municipality, remains largely unconcerned. The stretch of the road from ‘Pala-Pala’ field (Bakweri town) to Frankfills junction (Sandpit) in Buea, is a typical example. To many inhabitants of the area, the urgent maintenance of the road is a great cause for concern.
Melvis Takang Ma-Ebai
Many taxi drivers and private car owners who ply this road on a daily basis complain bitterly about the poor state of the road. In fact, most taxi drivers now avoid going through the road because according to them, going through that particular road is not only a waste of time but also a great risk.
“The road is too small, and there is too much congestion on that particular hill filled with potholes. This can cause accidents as it has been the case since that road was abandoned. I personally only manage to use that road at most twice a week because of all these inconveniences,” Says taxi man, Amin, as he preferred to be called.
The deplorable condition of this part of the road and many others in Buea is said to have been caused by little or no drainages ways on these roads. Without these drainages, run offs get in to the main road and gradually washes away the tarred surface, creating potholes which when also poorly managed, completely destroys these roads.
The most devastating issue of this poor road management is the fact that, these bad spots or degraded roads are now abandoned in the hands of some amateurs. They try to fill these potholes with stones and mud to ease movement for vehicle owners and in return, receive a few coins from some taxi drivers who care enough for their efforts. The road constructed by professionals, has been left in the hands of proletarians who see it as a source of livelihood.
Speaking to The Green vision, a Bakweri Town Resident, Mr Ekalle Jameson expressed dissatisfaction and Buea Council’s neglect of the road.
“This area of the road has been like this for a long time now. Whenever it gets worse, one guy surfaces to fix it in a way that best suits him to make his own small money. An action I think is not the best because these people are not the ones who constructed this road and so I don’t think they understand the technical know-how of not just maintaining the road but preventing any further damages. I wonder what the council is doing to remedy this situation. If these roads continue to be poorly managed like this; the cost of finally fixing them will be higher and leave us wanting.”
Another taxi driver who preferred anonymity could not also hide his level of discontent about the pitiable manner in which roads are handled in Buea.
“The case of the sandpit/Bakweri town road is very bad; many drivers now prefer to avoid that side of the road because of the harm it causes on car tyres. Apart from that, getting through that road is very slow; reason why passengers who are not actually going to that area will always complain. I really think those responsible for that should try to find a permanent solution to this problem,” the
Worth noting is the fact that, the issue of no drainage ways along tarred road patches in Buea is not only limited to the sandpit/Bakweri town stretch. It is also the case for the constant pool of stagnant water that can be found on the patch of the road down the hill to Mile 17 from Molyko and in front of the GCE Board three to four days after a rainy day.
These two spots along the Buea main road are not only environmentally unfriendly with the stagnant water but have also recorded quite a number of accidents. A situation that will leave one wondering if our country is moving towards development or if the little development we have will be left to completely depreciate and we still emerge come 2035.