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The Presidential Go Ahead For Memvel’ele Hydroelectric Project

The Head of State last Friday, June 15 posed the foundation Stone for work to effectively begin on the energy production project.

There were signs of satisfaction on every face at the little locality of Nyabizan, host to the highly economic-driven Memve’ele Hydroelectric Power Project last Friday, June 15 when the Head of State, President Paul Biya posed the foundation stone for work to officially begin on the project. The go-ahead act mesmerised the population that turned out en masse, many of them from the Southern Regional capital of Ebolowa and other areas as well as from the nation’s capital, Yaounde to witness the event; a population that can better tell the story of load shedding, intermittent light failures and to some extent, excruciating electricity rates.
For a country whose electricity supply barely goes above 900 kilowatts for an estimated demand of almost double that amount pending the erection of several announced industries and geometrically growing population, it was but normal to have witnessed the population that braved the thick Equatorial forest and poor state of road to be part of the foundation stone laying ceremony. It was much more so, considering that the Head of State, as he himself rightly recalled, has on several occasions in the past, deplored the fact that projects of this nature which have been studied and designed have failed to see the light of day.
As readily hailed by the Mayor of Ma’an, the population of the sub division estimated at 12,400 inhabitants, was particularly happy that “all the money for the project is ready.” The Mayor whose welcome address was greeted with thunderous applause from the population said the construction of the road to link Meyo Centre to Nyabizan and the compensation of the population attest to the fact that work has effectively commenced. To assure Cameroonians on the seriousness of the project, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Basile Atangana Kouna announced that the first turbines will begin turning in 36 months.

No Energy, No Development
“Without energy, there can be no real development. There can be no industry. Our agricultural and mineral raw materials cannot be processed. In short, there can be no modern economy.” These words from the Head of State told the real story about energy and reminded the population, at the ceremonial ground in particular and Cameroonians as a whole, that the number one personality is quite aware of the capital role this in-put has in the growth and development of the nation.
Inadequate energy supply, President Biya said, has made the daily lives of a large segment of our population unbearable. “The often extended periods of load shedding have also disrupted work in government services, social services such as hospitals, and even security agencies”, he said, stating that this has equally led to loss of human lives and material damage. The Head of State assured Cameroonians that the construction of Memvve’ele hydroelectric power is just the beginning. “In the coming months, construction works on the Lom Pangar and Mekin dams and power plants will be launched and further studies for the Warak and Menchum hydroelectric dams will be conducted, pending the completion of the Sanaga hydroelectric power project”, he said.
Last Friday’s ceremony carried with it the pump that one would have expected with the traditional chiefs of the area handing a medley of gifts full of symbols to the Head of State encouraging him to forge ahead with the steering of the ship of the nation. The posing of the foundation stone, unveiling of the commemorative plate and the presentation of the dummy of the hydroelectric project crowned it all. Dance groups from the nooks of the Ma’an sub division were visibly present and animated throughout the ceremony.
What many thought was just the laying of a foundation stone went far beyond with President Biya extending his visit to the South Region to two days. The population of Ebolowa had the singular pleasure of sending him off in song and dance the following day in the midst of a traditional ceremony marked by high profile protocol. “An excellent visit, the population is happy and the perspectives are promising”, he told reporters, assuring at the same time that the best is still to come. “We still have foundation stones to lay for Mekin, lom Pangar and other major projects”, President Biya said. On his former collaborators who have been brought before justice, some of whom have been publishing information in the press ahead of judgement, President Biya said, “the judiciary is independent. We should allow it act and we will accept the results. That said, I have no comment to make on commentaries.”

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