Public Utilities: Restoring The Maintenance Culture

Development experts agree that after human resource, infrastructure is critical and essential to the advancement of nations. Obviously so as a combination of good human and infrastructure development renders life worth living for citizens and make today and tomorrow even promising.
It is therefore difficult to imagine how hard-earned public utilities can be handled with little care. Observably, public attitude towards maintenance culture is low-keyed and something needs to be done to right the noticeable wrongs so as jealously preserve what we have for the good of Cameroon’s today and tomorrow. 
This wanting attitude is negatively affecting public infrastructure (movable and immovable) including roads, buildings and equipment. Public utility requires habitual and constant care for the purpose of service and production. A keen look at infrastructure around us these days easily drives one to the conclusion that maintenance culture is drastically eroding, if not lacking. 
Poor maintenance culture draws the nation backwards and counts such effects as exposure to breakdowns and short lifespan. It lowers production, enables demotion in health and safety, accounts for user dissatisfaction, and breeds a waste of scarce resources. The State invests enormously in infrastructure to raise the standards of living of the population. But waste and neglect are preventing their optimal use and the enjoyment of the population for which such utilities are acquired. 
Examples of misuse of public infrastructure abound. Taking the case of roads and streets, one can quickly point out varied irresponsible behaviours of users. It is common to see mechanics throwing engine oils on bitumen roads even though fully aware of degrading effects. People burning tyres on the road, emptying their household wastes on tar and other uncivil behaviours render the infrastructure vulnerable to early decay. It is a common secret that road construction consumes a good share of the country’s resources and any activity that damages the infrastructure earlier that it would have lasted should be condemned in the strongest terms.
As if to make things worse, vandalism has for the past six years and like in the early 1990s brought the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon to infrastructural knees. Schools, hospitals, offices as well as vehicles and tarred roads have been attacked, burnt to ashes and put into ruins. The losses are calculated in FCFA billions. Even with the Government intention and planning to repair and renew the destroyed facilities, the crisis is persisting and not allowing things to work out. How can the nation grow out of infrastructural lack if everything invested is destroyed? Citizens need to sit up in their behaviour vis-à-vis public infrastructure. 
Experts of maintenance indicate clearly that performing preventive maintenance prolongs the life of equipment, reduces downtime and decreases reactive maintenance requests. A structured maintenance helps to manage compliance and inspection needs, and prevents costly emergency repairs. This is generally done by maintenance managers who should oversee and lead maintenance procedures and track expenses. Such a job description ensures the development of maintenance procedures and i...



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