BUEA, Cameroon – The Coordinator of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the Northwest and Southwest, PPRD-NWSW, Paul Tasong, has told stakeholders that Phase One will focus on promoting social cohesion and providing housing for those whose homes and structures were burnt down, as a result of the Anglophone Crisis.
Minster Tasong said the first phase, to cost over FCFA 80 billion, is just part of the 10-year programmed projects, estimated to cost over FCFA 3,000 billion, in both Anglophone Regions, and areas of the Northern Regions, ravaged by the fight against Boko Haram.
The Minister said providing befitting housing for those who have been deprived of them, is a huge and important task for the commission. He also stated that another heavy task will be to reconstitute vital documents lost by many victims in the course of the various burnings that cost some families everything they owned.
To the Minister and his team, their first and huge challenge will be to accompany afflicted persons in the Northwest and Southwest Regions to recover their dignity as human beings. In the first phase of the reconstruction plan, the PPRD-NWSW team will also have a huge task to reconstruct destroyed school campuses and other social structures, to ensure that social life returns to the communities.
The commission also stated that it will strengthen civil society institutions, cultural and development associations and other social groups weakened as a result of the crisis that has crippled life in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
Minister Tasong also stated that part of the reconstruction exercise will be the financing of startups for youths, to make them financially viable. He said the providence of start-up support to youths will help keep them gainfully employed and busy, to minimise their risk of being radicalised because of frustration and idleness.
On reconstructing houses for persons and families whose structures were razed or destroyed, the Coordinator said: “The idea is not to simply provide roofing sheets, but to build back and assist them make it better than before”.
In the domain of agriculture, Tasong told stakeholders that they are looking at possibilities of introducing new crops, to give hope to the communities, so that they can, one day, look at the crops and think of the rejuvenation that came with the reconstruction and development of the Regions.
The Minister equally told stakeholders that macro-economic projects for reconstruction are reserved for other phases of the reconstruction programme, scheduled to last for over a decade, and that the first phase is just a relief phase, to help build trust, unity and give housing to those who have lost them.