A group of experts from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, JICA, are in the country carrying out feasibility studies for the construction of a third bridge over River Wouri in Douala. The team which arrived Cameroon on June 26, is expected to be in the country until Tuesday August 30.
According to Umemoto Shinji, JICA Resident Representative, the five-man strong team of Japanese experts cum consultants is made up of a road transport planning specialist, an architect in roads and bridges, an expert in urban traffic projection and forecasting, another in urban hydrology management as well as an expert in environmental planning.
After holding talks last week with the Minister of Economy, Planning And Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze, the JICA representative disclosed that the 2km bridge would run from the Wouri river that divides the City of Douala into two segments, through the Island of Djebale, to Bonamatoumbe and finally to Bonamoussadi; neighbourhoods in the Douala IV and V council areas.
The visiting experts said they will soon round up on the first phase of their feasibility studies which would enable them determine the cost of the entire project. At the end of this, they added, they will present their findings and cost to both the governments of Cameroon and Japan. The two governments are expected to jointly finance the project.
Going by JICA officials, the feasibility studies are being carried out using the latest Japanese technology in tectonic science and the control of earthquake disasters.
The putting in place of a third bridge over Wouri is government’s effort to ease traffic flow into, out of and within the nation’s economic capital Douala, Minister Motaze said. He added that the entire package of negotiation that is presently on-going is also aimed at upgrading the level of road infrastructure not only within the Douala metropolis, but also within the nation as a whole.
The economy minister claimed the government of Cameroon holds the development of infrastructure generally; but especially those that facilitate the movement of goods and humans, as prime mover of not only national development but being in line with government’s drive towards emergence.
It should be noted that the second bridge over the Wouri is still under construction.