By Kimeng Hilton, Cameroon Tribune, 29-05-2014
“The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr. Philemon YANG, on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 as from 10:00 a.m. in the main building of his Office, chaired an important Cabinet Meeting. In attendance were the Vice-Prime Minister, Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers-Delegate and Secretaries of State.
Two statements featured on the agenda, namely:
- A statement by the Minister for Water Resources and Energy on: “Assessment of the implementation of the Lom Pangar Hydro Development Project;
- A statement by the Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries on: “The implementation progress of Cameroon’s Dairy Sub-Sector Development Programme”;
The Minister in charge of energy revealed that the construction of the Lom Pangar dam, whose foundation stone was laid by the Head of State on 3 August 2012, is advancing satisfactorily, as was observed during the field visit on 24 May 2014. This CFAF 240.8 billion project, along with dams being constructed at Memve’ele and Mekin and those planned on River Bini at Warak and on River Menchum, is key to strengthening Cameroon’s hydro capacities. Globally, the main objective of this project is to reduce the seasonal variations of the flow of River Sanaga, by regulating it and increase flow from 720 m3/s currently to 1,040 m3/s.
A key impact of the project will be higher output of the Song Loulou and Edea plants of an additional 120 MW and the development of other power plants downstream. Another expected impact is the substitution in the East Region of cheaper hydro-electricity for more costly thermal power currently being used, thanks to the construction of a 30-megawatts plant at the toe of the dam and a 90-kilovolts power transmission line.
Implementation of the main project component, related to the dam, was marked by the deviation of River Lom in July 2013. Works on the saddle dam, the backfill dike and central gravity dam are advancing despite some geotechnical problems.
The second project component – the plant at the foot of the dam and the transmission line – is at the final phase of recruiting the consulting engineer. When he assumes duty in the near future, work on the final design of the plant at the foot of the dam, the transmission line and the medium-voltage network will be expedited.
The project’s environmental and social component is also on track, thanks to efficient waste management, the mitigation of social impacts and the management of the Deng-Deng forest.
Although all families affected by the project have been compensated, complaints continue to be received. The plan to resettle some families on the chosen relocation sites has almost been fully executed.
On 31 March 2014, the financial execution of the project was around CFAF 50.7 billion against an expected CFAF 240.8 billion, corresponding to an overall implementation rate of 21.1%.
The Minister for Water Resources and Energy expressed optimism about meeting the objective of first priming in the last quarter 2015 and commissioning the plant in 2018.
After noting this appraisal report and expressing Government’s satisfaction with the conduct of the project, the Prime Minister prescribed various measures aimed at expediting the construction of the Lom Pangar dam, including the rapid removal of timber in the holding ground, at the suite of the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife.
Cabinet Meeting proceedings continued with the statement by the Minister in charge of livestock on the implementation progress of Cameroon’s Dairy Sub-sector Development Programme. It revealed that Cameroon’s dairy sub-sector, based on the processing of cow-milk, produces about 184,000 tons of milk/year, from a cattle inventory of close to 6 million animals reared in all regions.
This Dairy Sub-Sector Development Programme, costing over CFAF 19 billion, seeks to channel and revitalize this production to meet consumption of dairy products estimated at 269,000 tons in 2015 and 310,000 tons in 2025. The expected benefits are mainly enhanced food and nutritional security, lower imports, amounting to CFAF 28 billion in 2013 and job creation through a better structuring of the sub-sector.
Actions undertaken include, inter alia: the construction of 7 collection centres with total capacity of 20,000 litres/day; the construction of 4 mini-processing plants of total capacity of 10,000 litres/day in Meiganga, N'Gaoundéré, Garoua and Maroua; and the ongoing construction of 3 mini-processing plants in Mbengwi in Momo Division, Bot in Donga Mantung Division and Esu in Menchum Division.
Concurrently, the State is in the process of launching the Ngaoundere Dairy Project that will be ceded to a private operator after consideration of nine proposals selected after a call for expression of interest.
The Minister pointed out that prospects in the dairy sub-sector are bright, considering the existing potential. However, efforts are needed to update the legal framework, constitute a herd commensurate with substantial output as well as structure and train stakeholders.
After the ensuing discussions, the Head of Government asked the Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries to continue the extension of the project to build mini-dairy processing plants in all cattle-rearing regions and, in collaboration with the Minister for Finance, speed up the revitalization of activities of the Ngaoundere Dairy Project.
The Cabinet Meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.”
Prime Minister Yang chairing the cabinet meeting.