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AN ASSESSMENT INTO THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN KUMBA MUNICIPAL, CAMEROON

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AN ASSESSMENT INTO THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT  IN THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN KUMBA MUNICIPAL, CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The primary objective of the existing third-tier government structure nationwide is unequivocally to compel local governments to undertake comprehensive reforms inside the places they oversee. As stated by Chukwuemeka, Okoye, and Eneh (2018), the Local Government has well-defined responsibilities and obligations to fulfil in order to serve the general population. Infrastructure development is a fundamental element for promoting economic growth, social advancement, and environmental sustainability in metropolitan places around the globe. Infrastructure development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon, is essential for improving the citizens' quality of life, promoting economic growth, and facilitating sustainable urbanization (Makinde, Hassan & Taiwo, 2016). Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the local administration in terms of planning and implementing infrastructure projects is still a matter of investigation and worry. Cameroon, similar to several emerging nations, encounters substantial obstacles in the provision of infrastructure, encompassing transport networks, water and sanitation systems, electricity supply, and public amenities (Nwogwugwu, 2015). The issues in metropolitan areas like Kumba municipal are especially noticeable due to the fast increase in population, urbanization, and insufficient investment in infrastructure. This has put a pressure on existing resources and services, resulting in congestion, shortages in services, and environmental degradation. The National Infrastructure growth Plan 2020-2030 delineates the government's dedication to rectifying the nation's infrastructure deficiencies and fostering sustainable growth in diverse sectors (Osakede, Ijimakinwa & Adesanya, 2016). Nevertheless, the implementation of national policies and initiatives at the local level, namely in towns such as Kumba, need strong governance structures, institutional capabilities, and channels for engaging stakeholders. Prior research on urban infrastructure development in Cameroon, specifically in municipalities like Bamenda, has emphasised the significance of local governance and decentralisation in facilitating improvements in infrastructure and initiatives to reduce poverty (Sutopo, Wulandari & Adiati, 2017). However, the relevance of these results may differ because of contextual disparities in government institutions, socio-economic dynamics, and infrastructure objectives. To fully comprehend the distinct difficulties and advantages related to the development of infrastructure, it is essential to thoroughly analyse the involvement of the local government in the design and implementation of these projects. Against this background, the researcher sought to assess the role of local government in the planning and execution of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon. 

1.2 Statement of the problem

Infrastructure development is crucial for the socio-economic advancement and improvement of living standards in metropolitan areas. However, in Kumba municipal, Cameroon, there are concerns about the effectiveness of the local administration in planning and implementing such projects. Although the significance of infrastructure development is well recognised, there are still obstacles that impede the achievement of optimum progress and the provision of services to inhabitants (Tadele, 2020). The lack of a thorough evaluation of the involvement of local government in infrastructure development within the Kumba municipal area hinders the comprehension of the present situation and obstructs attempts to rectify existing shortcomings. The everyday lives of people are still affected by key concerns such as insufficient transport networks, unreliable utilities, and inadequate public facilities. These challenges have a negative influence on residents' access to critical services and their possibilities for socio-economic growth (Ugwuanyi, Offor & Nweze, 2016). Moreover, there is a dearth of lucidity about the legal and regulatory frameworks that regulate the development and implementation of infrastructure at the municipal level in Kumba. The lack of clarity on the functions, duties, and procedures for making decisions by local authorities hinders the successful implementation of unified and enduring development policies. Furthermore, the extent of stakeholder involvement and community participation in infrastructure projects in the Kumba municipality is unclear. Inadequate participation of citizens, companies, and other important stakeholders throughout the design and implementation stages of projects may lead to conflicting objectives, unfulfilled requirements, and a lack of responsibility towards development efforts (Ugwuanyi, Offor & Nweze, 2016). Moreover, the ongoing difficulties encountered by the local government in Kumba municipal, including insufficient financial resources, limitations in capabilities, problems with governance, and deficiencies in coordination with higher levels of government, present substantial obstacles to the effective execution of infrastructure initiatives. These obstacles worsen the already existing problems with infrastructure and hinder the progress towards reaching sustainable urban development objectives (Ugwuanyi, Offor & Nweze, 2016). Hence, it is imperative to conduct a thorough inquiry into the involvement of the local government in the strategic planning and implementation of infrastructure development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon.  

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to assess the role of local government in the planning and execution of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Evaluate the level of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon

Assess the effectiveness of  local government in the planning and execution of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal, Cameroon

Explore the challenges of local government in the execution of infrastructural development of Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon.

To examine the role of local government in planning and ensuring the sustainability of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the following

What is the level of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon?

How effective is local government in the planning and execution of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal, Cameroon?

What are the challenges of local government in the execution of infrastructural development of Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon?

What is the role of local government in planning and ensuring the sustainability of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Local government: the study will help other Local Governments in Cameroon to identify key areas for boosting agriculture, developing the education system, improving on transportation networks, etc., so as to enhance and boost infrastructural development.

Academic Contribution: This study adds to the body of academic literature on urban governance, decentralization, and infrastructure development in Cameroon and similar contexts. The study also will be useful as a source of information to academicians and researchers who will be carrying out research on Local government and rural infrastructural development. 

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the role of local government  in the planning and execution of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon. Empirically, the study will evaluate the level of infrastructural development in Kumba municipal, Cameroon, assess the effectiveness of  local government in the planning and execution of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal, Cameroon, explore the challenges of local government in the execution of infrastructural development of Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon and examine the role of local government in planning and ensuring the sustainability of infrastructural projects in Kumba municipal local government, Cameroon.

Therefore, the study is delimited to Kumba municipal, Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Infrastructural Development: Refers to the process of planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining physical structures and facilities that support economic activities, social interactions, and environmental sustainability within a given area. This includes transportation networks, utilities (such as water supply, sanitation, and energy), public facilities (such as schools, hospitals, and parks), and other essential infrastructure.

Local Government: Refers to the administrative authority responsible for governing a specific geographical area, such as a municipality, district, or county. Local government entities have powers and responsibilities delegated to them by higher levels of government (e.g., regional or national) to manage local affairs, provide public services, and implement development initiatives.

Planning and Execution: In the context of infrastructural development, planning involves the systematic process of setting goals, identifying needs, assessing resources, and designing strategies to address infrastructure-related challenges and opportunities. Execution refers to the implementation phase, where plans are translated into action through the allocation of resources, procurement of materials and services, construction activities, and project management.

Stakeholder Engagement: Involves the active involvement of individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions that have a vested interest or are affected by infrastructural development projects. Stakeholder engagement aims to promote dialogue, collaboration, and consensus-building among diverse stakeholders to ensure their perspectives, concerns, and contributions are considered in decision-making processes.

Community Participation: Refers to the involvement of local residents, community organizations, and grassroots associations in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of infrastructural projects. Community participation emphasizes the importance of empowering communities, fostering ownership, and promoting democratic governance principles in development initiatives.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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