Lack of freight and poor roads hamper the transport of goods along the Douala-Ndjamena corridor

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(Business in Cameroon) – On September 16, the thrust block of a culvert collapsed in Ebomé, along the Yaoundé-Douala road which is part of the Douala-Ndjamena and Douala-Bangui corridors. A few days later, on September 25, another section of road along the Ngaoundéré-Dang road in the northern region of Cameroon collapsed. As a result of these two incidents, transporting goods to Kousseri, which shares a border with N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, has become extremely difficult.

Before the collapses which, of course, had a negative impact on activities along the Douala-Ndjamena corridor where approximately 340 billion FCFA of Chadian goods transit each year, the traffic was already troublesome. This is according to the Cameroon customs office.

The poor condition of the Maroua-Kousseri axis forces us to take the road that goes from Touboro to southern Chad, and goes towards N’Djamena. This causes long delays in delivery times. At least 800 km separate Maroua and Kousseri. However, passing through Chad, the distance is twice as long ”, Alhadji Ousmanou, a leading member of the Cameroon Road Transport Organization, said in an interview with regional tri-weekly newspapers the eye of the Sahel.

According to our source, in addition to the state of the roads which means that carriers, importers and exporters are recording significant losses, traffic on the Douala-Ndjamena corridor has considerably decreased due to the absence of freight. “You could register your truck, settle your tax situation, refuel, things are still difficult (…) Some carriers load cargo in Douala towards Kousseri, but have return problems because they have to do it without cargo and therefore cannot bear the cost of their trip, explained Alhadji Ousmanou.

The lack of freight, attributable in part to a slowdown in economic activities in Chad, due to the oil price crisis (the country derives 70% of its income from black gold, according to the CEMAC commission), had already was denounced months ago by the Union of Road Transport Professionals.

However, at the time, the union blamed a group of illegal carriers who actually control nearly 45% of land freight in Cameroon.

Brice R. Mbodiam


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