Government has, over the past few years, embarked on several projects in the energy and water sector in a bid to meet up with the ever increasing demand.
Water and energy are very vital utilities not only for human wellbeing, but also for economic development. This explains why the government of Cameroon has been upbeat in providing these utilities even though the desired quantity and quality in Cameroon’s cities and rural communities are still to be attained. Statistics from the Multi-sectoral National Group in charge of monitoring electricity supply indicate that only 28.5 per cent of the population has access to electricity in Cameroon, with less than 10 per cent of the rural areas covered. Similarly, potable water supply in the country is a call for concern as towns expand rendering water infrastructure insufficient for the increasing population. For example, the capital city Yaounde gets just between 100,000 to 110,000 cubic metres of water per day whereas the demand is estimated at 250,000 cubic metres per day. It is on this strength that the government initiated several projects aimed at augmenting supply of the utilities. As far as electricity supply is concerned, the government went offensive with several hydroelectric dams under construction or completed. There are at least five giant hydroelectric dams constructed or under construction within the last seven years. The completed Lom Pangar reservoir dam in the East Region is already pumping 6,000 million cubic metres of water to the Sanaga for the Songloulou dam. Meanwhile, a power generation plant is currently being erected to provide 30 megawatts of energy to some 150 localities in the East Region. Since June last year, the Memve’ele dam, with the capacity to generate 211MW of power, is ready to be connected to the distribution network of electricity supply company just like the 15MW Mekin hydroelectric dam. Meanwhile, the Bini-Warak dam under construction in the Adamawa Region will furnish some 75MW of electricity when completed. The Song Dong dam as well as the Nachtigal dam are also on course. In addition to these hydroelectric projects, the government is also exploiting avenues for the construction of solar energy plants especially in rural communities. Reforms introduced in the sector also led to the creation of Electricity transportation company, SONATREL, which is charged with the transportation and transmission of electricity network in the country. As to what concerns water, there has been major strides made to improve water supply in major towns and cities in the country. Presently, the project to supply potable water in the city of Yaounde and its environs from the River Sanaga is on course and will produce at least 300,000 m3 of water per day. The government is also pursuing water rehabilitation projects in Yaounde, Bertoua, Edea and Ngaoundere.