The rehabilitation plan for the North West and South West Regions aims at improving the living conditions of the population, consolidate national unity and social cohesion.
For close to four years running, the North West and South West Regions of the country have been experiencing a certain degree of social unrest. In a bid to get lasting solutions to the socio-political tension, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya convened the Major National Dialogue which at the end amongst other recommendations, requested the formulation of a vast programme for the recovery, construction and development of the troubled regions. Thus, an idea was conceived, dubbed the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions, abbreviated PPRD-NW/SW.
Placed under the supervision of the Prime Minister, the plan aims at realising projects in the two regions with focus on three priority areas which include; restoring social cohesion, reconstruction and rehabilitating of basic infrastructure, and revitalizing the local economy. For effective and efficient implementation of the plan, other sub bodies like the Steering Committee, National Coordination, Regional Follow-up Committees and the Implementing Partner were created on April 3, 2020. This is according to an Order signed by the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute which laid down the organic framework for the implementation the said plan. The plan is a component of the National Development Strategy (NDS) prepared for a period of ten years in order to reduce the effects of the crisis on the population and rebuild the economy of the two regions. The cost of implementation for a period of two years is estimated at FCFA 89,682,938,100 with the government of Cameroon responsible for providing between 10 to 15 per cent of the total sum.
An operational plan and an annual budget of FCFA 36 billion, 321 million was on May 13, 2020 adopted by the Steering Committee of the plan.
According to the annual plan presented by the National Coordinator of PPRD-NW/SW, Paul Tasong, the adopted annual budget will be used for the execution of earmarked projects from May 2020 to April 2021. Drawn on the basis of the three priority areas, the plan followed a socio-economic assessment carried out by the government of Cameroon to estimate the impact of the crisis.
As concerns the rebuilding of infrastructures, 60 schools will be constructed within the one year period in the North West Region and 45 schools in the South West Region with an estimated cost of FCFA 10 billion. Some 25 health centres will in the same period be constructed in the North West Region and 20 in the South West Region. The plan further earmarks the construction of 155 water points with solar systems in both regions at the unit cost of FCFA 33 million.
On agricultural production, some 1,000 hectares of farm land will be reestablished in the North West Region and 700 hectares in the South West Region at the estimated cost of FCFA 1 billion 200 million. Cattle and cash crop markets will be constructed in both regions as well as solar ovens built for drying of cocoa. Lost administrative documents will be reestablished for some 30,000 citizens in each of the regions.
At the request of the government of Cameroon, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was designated the Implementing Partner of the plan. The UN agency will thus use its international expertise to ensure the efficient realisation of projects based on a set of principles and in accordance to its mandate, rules, and regulations which are based on impartiality. In promoting recovery in the North West and South West, UNDP will also work closely with and support the capacity reinforcement of civil society organisations. The UN body and will contribute to boost the local economy. Three pragmatic outcomes have been envisaged by UNDP which include; strengthen social cohesion, rehabilitate social services and strengthen the local economy
UNDP will promote sustainable livelihoods for affected groups by using skills, resources and local expertise support approach. This is geared towards helping crises-affected people in becoming financially independent and thus able to contribute to local economic recovery and reduce the dependency.