The state of Cameroon has released XAF10 billion to settle the social situation within Cameroon Water Utilities (Camwater), authorized sources confirm.
On November 18, 2020, Magloire Seraphin Fouda (Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office) sent a letter to Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze. The letter explained that in collaboration with the Minister of Water and Energy (Minee), they were to report on the implementation of the President’s instructions concerning the release of a special envelope of XAF10 billion to finance expenses related to the end of the lease contract between Camwater and CDE and settle the state’s outstanding water bills.
This letter was prompted by another sent on August 27, 2020, to Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute by five unions grouped within the “synergie des syndicats des travailleurs opérants à la Camwater.” In their letter, the group notified the Prime Minister about the social unrest that could arise if nothing is done about the situation at Camwater.
They further explained that the social unrest would be due to some unlawful pay cuts (25%) being carried out by the water utility’s management. They added that despite the proofs provided by the labor administration and staff representatives showing that the bonuses and other benefits were being canceled in violation of the labor code, Camwater’s management was set on carrying out the cuts.
According to Camwater, the release of the XAF10 billion is pushing the specter of social unrest away because it is now able to satisfy the former employees of Camerounaise des Eaux (CDE) whose assets were transferred to Camwater; these employees were requesting the restoration of their financial benefits.
By restoring the benefits, Camwater will appease the employees and ultimately boost its performance since appeased employees perform better. The performance boost is all the more needed since the water utility is aiming to provide water to over 80% of residents in urban and peri-urban areas by 2035.