Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tubah Mayor blamed for Bambili water crisis

Cameroon - Bambili - Tubah Council Mayor, Sofa Stanislaus has been blamed for the Bambili water crises. Apart from being docile about the crisis, he is alleged to have fed fat on the contractor, Premier Enterprise. It is guessed that this is the reason why no major action has been taken by the council to cause the contractor complete the project, Bambili elite are claiming.

A technical report forwarded to the administration by Bambili Water Authorities indicates that the 115 millions project funded by FEICOM was poorly executed. The report was signed by Rev. Pastor Ben Sinclair, Pastor Sam of Sabga, Awoungu Rene accountant and the Water Committee Chairman Mr Bekeny Francis.

After a visit to the site by the four committee members on March 23, 2011, it was discovered that the Ndoucha water catchment was poorly constructed, most of the water flowed out as overflow because the outlet pipe was only 40 mm  instead of 63 mm and the bend too close to the catchment tank. Apart from that it was discovered that pipe line was very shallow and prone to destruction. Banshie water catchment was also poorly constructed reasons why water could not flow. The pipes, according to the report, were not well buried in the soil.

The committee also discovered that the survey was poorly done. Too many steep hills, the stop cock for breathing of the pipe blocked on both ends making it difficult to turn on and off. Reasons why  the taps cannot flow.

The same complaint surfaced in a meeting held by the Water committee on Thursday   May 5, 2011 yet the mayor was mute about the hue. Apart from the fact that water is entering the tank, due numerous leakages and bad connection, it was observed that the whole system was plagued by the numerous undulations orchestrated by bad survey. It was resolved during the meeting g that the contractor should be called upon to carry out some repairs along the network. These entailed blocking all the leakages, bury the exposed pipes and provide good locks for valve chambers to limit their access. The mayor of Tubah was a signatory of the meeting.

Why Tubah Mayor is suspected to have been bribed

Integrated Engineering Associates (IEA) carried out a survey on the project on Decemer 14, 2010. Their report indicates that a number things were not well done. The contractor did not provide a  stopcork for the two soak away  pits. Three of the stand taps were not flowing. The contractor was urged to  backfill two springs catchments and extend the overflow pipe to avoid erosion. He was also requested to introduce aeration pipes for the supply line of the two catchments; Provide the aeration pipe for   the break pressure tank NO1 and extend the supply inlet; replace all the GI pipes on the 03 stream crossing etc.

Signatories of the meeting were: Project engineer, Che Micheal, project manager Mundama Benette, all of Premier Engineering Enterprise. The aim of the meeting after the field visit was to assess the level of work done on some reservation of the 14 December 2010. In spite all the complaints raised by the population via the water Authority, Tubah mayor still went ahead and received the project in his Tubah office.

Bambili Water Authority chair man petition the provisional and final reception but was ignored by the mayor who in one of his replies told the chair man that “the contract was entered between Tubah Council /FEICOM and Premier Enterprise and hence the cross fire between Bambili Water Authority  and Premier Enterprise should not arise. In this regard, the population of Bambili and their Water authority are supposed to be quiet in spite of their being the beneficiary whose voice counts, as per participatory development  approach norms. 

Bekeny Francis Chair man of Bambili water authority told Vanguard that he will stop at nothing to ensure that the project is completed. He said the authority decided to take a loan of CFA 15 millions from the Credit Union to work on the water line to enable the village have enough water to supply the increasing student population. Although about 90% of the stand taps were flowing due their efforts, the entire Bambili shall witness severe water crisis with the approach of the dry season if the FEICOM funded project is not revisited. 

It should be note that the water the town enjoys today is not from the Premier Enterprise but the old Bambili Water source. The contractor Fongoh Martin is currently at the police with the management of Premier Enterprise for unauthorized used of his water tank.

The Chairman said all his efforts to cause Tubah council assist in the payment of the CFA 15 million loan have been futile. The mayor is quoted to have questioned whether he authorized them to go for a loan to improve on the situation of the water.

He complained that the final reception of the project was done in his absence.”the project was received without the awareness of the beneficiary .We were only told of the provisional and final reception. I raised the issue during the council session but the Mezam SDO did not take it serious. He expressed fears that about 65 % of the taps shall not flow in the dry season. He promised to “follow up the matter even in court until all the taps flow”.

Contacted by phone to comment on the issue Hon Yoyo Emmanuel erstwhile SDF MP for Ndop said the project was completed and received without qualms and he could  not understand why the rigmarole. He asked the complainants to take the matter to any highest authority of their choice.
For his part, the mayor in like manner told the Vanguard by phone that these were all political machinations to discredit his administration.

To be continued in the next edition.

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