Several drivers of Cameroon origin are stranded in neighbouring Chad after transporting items to the land-logged nation.
Speaking to Mimi Mefo Info, one of the affected drivers revealed that he has been in Chad since October 24, but sees no possibility of returning home anytime soon.
The reason for their predicament, he says, is a protest by the Chadian business people who purchased the goods over the increased cost of imports.
“Chadians who are owners of these goods we are carrying have been striking, because of the increase in the levy they used to pay per container,” he said.
He explains that “the new director in charge of imported goods here in Ngueli where their own dry port is found, decided to add the amount usually paid by good owners since a scanning machine was bought to scan containers in order to know the value and amount to be paid for any container, and they refused to used it.”
The predicament of the Cameroonian drivers, he added, is not limited to only financial lack and the inability to return until they offload their vehicles, but also the climate.
He says, “It is very tough as we are not used to the hot sun here. The climate has already made many of my colleagues sick, even my co-driver too. And despite all of these, we are not allowed to cross the bridge and go to Kousseri in Cameroon where we can feel free and also eat what we know.”
Silence of officials
“I don’t think Cameroon’s officials are aware! But for the Chadians, they have been telling us that they are working on it but we don’t know how long it’s going to take,” the desperate driver explains.
Drivers, he adds, were assembled last week by the Chadian drivers’ syndicate, and asked to comply with the new weighing and evaluation regulations in force.
“Some of us did it, and [are waiting] for the traders and goods owners to pay, whenever they want to offload their goods.”
The Cameroon government at press time is yet to make any comment over the issue.