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General News of Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Unkempt Yaounde Municipal Lake awaits cleaning

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While waiting for the announced cleaning up to take off, the lake remains unkempt.

The Yaounde Municipal Lake located in the heart of the city, in between the Prime Minister’s Residence, the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms and the National School of Administration and Magistracy will be a pull of attraction in the nearest future.

But while waiting for this transformation, the once attractive and relaxation site begs for attention. A ride around the lake yesterday was reminiscence of the sorry stories Yaounde city dwellers hold of the to-be-touristic site.

The debris filth greenish waters, the overgrown grass and trees, the unfriendly and fearsome environment only spoke of the lake that has suffered the pangs of abandonment for some time. It is an area no one will love to hang around at certain hours of the day or night.

Its sordid environment serves as hiding hideout for bandits, recording gruesome occurrences ranging from assaults to murder. Most often corpses are retrieved from the lake and the uncountable accounts of cases of assault are telling of a lake that hitherto served as a pull of attraction for relaxation.

A situation that leaves no one indifferent, pushing government not only to stem the bane on insecurity around the area but making it income-generating and most importantly a tourist destination.

Attention, which from every indication is taking shape with the signing yesterday February 2, 2015 of a Presidential Decree by the Head of State, Paul Biya authorizing the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development to sign two separate loan agreements with the Deutsche Bank for the cleaning and development of the lake.

The agreements have come with thunderous applause from officials of the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) piloting the project.

Going by explanations, MINEPAT will sign a loan agreement with the London Branch of Deutsche Bank amounting to 27, 544, 454 euros (approximately FCFA 18 billion) to valorize and render the lake economically viable and a touristic-attractive.

But since the project like other giant projects warrants counterpart funds, government has contracted a loan from the Spanish Branch of Deutsche Bank for complementary funding worth 5,272 002, 17 euros (about FCFA 3.5 billion).

The first phase of the project will see the lake and its waters cleaned up. Phase two will see the construction of state-of-the-art structures like hotels, restaurants, landing space for water sports and recreational activities as well as library and commercial centres around the shores.

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