The project to construct the Edea-Kribi-Lolabe railway, an integrated project of the National Railway Master Plan, is taking shape. Government and the China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Yaounde yesterday 6 May, 2015 to this effect. Transport Minister, Robert Nkili, representing Cameroon, and the General Manager of CHEC for Central Africa, Edward Xu affixed signatures to documents bonding the partners with the firm expected to start technical and financial feasibility studies soon.
CHEC has not been chosen for construction work. Its task is to carry out feasibility studies on how well the project can be executed and how better Cameroon can source funding for the project. Robert Nkili stressed on the fact that the Ministry of the Economy will come to play when CHEC must have aised government on where to secure funding while the Ministry of Public Works, the State engineer, will take over when the construction contract must have been awarded.
Work at the Kribi Deep Seaport is complete and the need to link the seaside town with railway is indispensable as the country seeks to tap from its imminent operationalisation. Robert Nkili says we cannot have a seaport without a railway and the Edea-Kribi-Lolabe railway is “Indispensable for the transportation of heavy products notably minerals.” The Kribi, Limbe and Douala seaports are serving Cameroon, Chad and Central Africa. The importance of the railway cannot therefore be overestimated and Robert Nkili says the main railway from Douala to Ngaoundere when constructed (as wished) will be an economic lever given that goods from Edea to Kribi will be channeled to the main railway.
The transportation of industrial and mineral products is complex. Experts say it is pretty expensive by road. The construction of the Edea-Kribi-Lolabe railway is part of government’s initiative to facilitate the transportation of bauxite from Mini Martap and Ngaoundal in the Adamawa Region and of the Mbalam Iron Ore in the East Region. The project is also expected to ease the transportation and export of agricultural products.
Source : Cameroon Tribune