COMMUNES ET VILLES UNIES DU CAMEROUN :: UNITED COUNCILS AND CITIES OF CAMEROON

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

NKOR

 

Mayor NKONGNYUY Francis

Tél.     +237 677 51 79 00 

  

Location

Nkor council area engulfs the entire Noni Subdivision, which is found in Bui Division ofthe North West Province of Cameroon. The estimated surface area of Nkor Council is 325.7 Sq.km. The population is sparsely settled across the Council area under ten (10) traditional fondoms, with six (6) principal concentration zones along the Noni Ring Road at Mbinon, Lassin, Nkor, Dom, Din and Djottin. Nchine, Mee, Ngeptang, Nkale and Bamti are some major quarters linked to the principal population concentration zones of Mbinon, Nkor and Din respectively The Municipality is situated between latitudes 6°38` and 6°.48`north of the equator and longitudes 10° 49’ and 10° 69’ east of the Greenwich meridian 

The Nkor Council was created by Presidential Decree No.93/322 of 25th November 1993. This decree also stated that Nkor Council shall have the same administrative boundaries as Noni Sub-division. Curiously, the decree that created Noni Sub-division stated that the administrative boundaries of the sub-division shall be defined in a separate text, which text has never seen the light of day. Consequently, neither the boundaries of the Nkor Council nor those of the Noni Sub-division are defined. However, the boundaries of the Noni Customary Court area are well-known and well-defined on IGN Nkambe sheet of 1972. Curiously, in spite of the foregoing fact, Nkor council has boundary disputes with the Nso tribe in the South East, Oku tribe in the South, Kom tribe in the West and Bum tribe in the North

Biophysical milieu

Climate

The Nkor council area is characterised by two main seasons, namely, the rainy and dry seasons. The dry season runs from October to March and is characterised by high temperatures and dusty conditions, a major trademark of the northeast trade winds. The rainy season begins from March and ends in October with its peak periods in July and August. It is characterised by low temperature and moist conditions, peculiar of the southeast trade winds that brings rain. It is worth noting that during the months of December and January the air is very dry and cold during the morning and evening periods and very hot in the afternoon periods.

In reality, Noni climatology identifies four seasons in a year, namely; Nyiim ( the dry season), which runs from the beginning of December to the ending of February; Mondvuum , which marks the transition from the dry season to the rainy season, runs from the beginning of March to the ending of May; the rainy season proper, known as Bvudaam, runs from the beginning of June to the ending of August; Fweh, which marks the transition from the rainy season to the dry season, runs from the beginning of September to November ending.

On account of the absence of a meteorological station within the council area, no record of actual temperatures exists. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that the council falls within the mid-altitude agro-ecological zone 5 (altitude : 800-1400m above mean sea level) that, like all other agro-ecological zones, has witnessed an increase in the maximum annual temperature, going from 28oC in 1987 to 34oC in 2005 – i.e. a staggering 21.43% increase in just six years. Despite this general trend, we still need specific temperature data in order to be better informed about the local micro-climate

Topography

The Nkor municipality stands out as an area of irregular relief characterised by a configuration of highlands and lowlands. Plains, deeply grooved valleys and rolling hills, which give a distinctive relief feature to the area, interrupt the highlands. There are areas as high as 3 011meters around the Nyuiy hill in Dom village, and as low as 1050meters above sea level around the Bamti and Mee stretch of road, which lowlands are suitable for maize cultivation. The rugged and mountainous range of the Nyuiy hill that stretches right to the Kilum and Ijim Mountain ranges, almost completely circumscribe Noni Subdivision, opening the circumcircle a bit only to the north towards the Lassin end of the Nkor council area.

Hydrography

The Nkor council area has as its biggest water sheds the Bui-Mbim, Kilum and Ijim Mountain ranges. Some of the rivers include River Mbeim, which is the largest and takes its rise from the Ngonzen Hills, River Mee which takes it rise from the Dom hills, River Chau-Chau in Mbiim, River Kiwawah, which flows throw Awi and Eleh and empties in River Kimbi in Bum Subdivision, and whose waters are derived from those of streams flowing through Nkor and Mbinon, River Ntaan which takes its rise from the Dom hills and flows through Banten and Mbiim and empties in River Mee in the Mee plain, River Montfui which takes its rise from the Kilum mountain range in Oku Subdivision and flows through Oku, Ngeptang and Bamti and also empties in River Mee in the Mee plain , River Monkfui, which takes its rise from the lower reaches of the escarpment that marks the north-eastern end of the Ijim mountain range, flows down to Bamti and then snakes its way to its point of confluence with River Mee in the Mee plain, River Kitum, which takes its rise from the hills overlooking the Kichia settlement and also empties into River Mee in the Mee plain, River Sunka, which empties in River Kimbi, and whose waters are derived from those of Rivers Mee, Ntaan, Montfui, Monkfui and Kitum. All of these rivers flow through Noni Subdivision and empty into River Kimbi, which finally empties itself into River Katsina-Ala. It should be clearly stated here that most rivers are gradually becoming streams due to encroachment on forestland by croppers in search of farmland. Wetlands are found mostly in Mee, Ebanya in Mbinon, and in Ebanya and Engew in Nkor. The upper reaches of most valleys give rise to springs and water catchment areas.

Soil

The main soil types found in this municipality are: modified orthic soil types found in Lassin, Mbinon, Din and part of Djottin, specifically in Gaggi and Bongi; Penevolutedferrallitic soils, regosolic and lithosolic soils characteristic of the steep slopes found in Nkor, Bvugoi (Dom) and in part of Djottin- i.e. in Buh and Chamkfung- and in part of Mbinon- i.e. in Nchine. These soil types could further be classified as:

- white clayey soil, that is very conspicuous in Djottin along the Djottin-Tadu road, on the Bvugoi-Banten road, along the Mbinon-Kuvlu road, and stretching into Donga-Mantung Division

- sandy soils, which are located along the lower reaches of streams and rivers, especially around sand deposits

- humus or top soil, which occurs mostly in the valleys and on flat hilltops

- hydromorphic soils, located in the lower reaches of flood plains, that are characterised by:

their soft, wet and spongy nature

an excess of soil moisture, leading to waterlogging that makes them feel soft, wet and spongy to walk on

a deep top layer of undecomposed organic matter due to the fact that the excess water in the soil inhibits soil aeration, thereby creating a deficiency in soil oxygen, which in turn diminishes bacteriological activity and retards the decay of organic matter

- alluvial soils that are found along the banks of rivers and streams, and in most areas of flood plains that are not occupied by hydromorphic soils

- degraded humus soils that are found on most of the lower slopes of highland ranges and knolls that are subjected to overgrazing and compaction

- brownish loamy soils that are found between the flood plains and the contour limiting the croplands

- lateritic soils that are found everywhere beneath the top soil, and also on highlands depleted of vegetal cover, which have been subjected to high levels of erosion by runoff

Vegetation

The vegetation is mainly Montane, Sub-montane forest and Domesticated sub-montane landscape. The remnant of the montane forest has characteristic tree species like Prunus Africana (pygeum) Nuxia congesta, Schefflera species, and Maesa Lanceolota and Guidia glauca. The domesticated sub-montane landscape, which now looks like grassland, is occupied mainly by herders for the rearing of cattle, sheep, goats and horses. This landscape gives a beautiful green touristic view during the rainy seasons. And in the dry season, it is almost bare due to over exploitation by cattle.

Natural resources

In the past, the municipality was very rich in many natural resources. However, due to its population boom and the constant quest for farmland and shelter, these natural resources have been reduced to just the forests and mineral resources. More forest resources still have to be discovered in the remaining patches of forest areas found in the municipality. Resources found in the forests include Timber, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP), and wildlife. There is no official data on the type and quantity of each of these resources. Nevertheless, from observations and informants, NTFP include Kola nuts, bush plum and honey. Monkeys, antelopes, leopards, and pythons are some of the wildlife found in the forests. Several birds species are also found in the forests- e.g. Tauraco Bannermani (Bannerman's Turaco) from which the red feather for traditional tittles is got), Owls and Bats. Some of the mineral resources that can be found in this area include sand, stones and clay. However, the council is yet to exploit these minerals to the fullest, especially sand, as exploitation is presently done only artisanally at individual level. There are sand quarries in Lassin and Enkoweh. Although the council has begun controlling sand exploitation, the control needs to be intensified because there is still a lot of illegal exploitation by individuals. The industrial exploitation of the huge sand quarry potential of Enkoweh is subject to the construction of a good access road.

On the whole then, the potentials of Nkor council area may be summarily presented as follows:

Availability of good road-maintenance quality laterite on the slopes

Rich fertile soils which can further be improved upon with organic or chemical manure;

Relatively flat nature of the land, which can permit mechanization of farm operations;

All-year-round provision of water in the plains by the rivers and perennial streams that flow through the plains;

Availability of sand deposits and stones which can be used as civil engineering construction materials

Scattered outcrops of some gemstone types in remote areas like Awi, Muntale and Gbenbvule

Occurrence of a limited number of touristic sites such as caves , volcanic cones, challenging steep cliffs, shrines and sacred groves, palaces and sub-palaces, waterfalls and rolling hills with beautiful rainy season scenery

Indiscriminate and uncontrolled exploitation of some of these resources has led to depletion. Thus, there is need for effective management and protection to ensure sustainability.

Historical profile

Human milieu

Historical background of Noni Subdivision

The Kumbo Central Subdivision was created by Decree No. bb/DF/431 of 26/8/66 and from then onward, the Noni Customary Court Area was administered from Kumbo Central Sub division until 1992 when the Noni Sub Division was created by decree No 92/ 207 of 5/10/92

Code No. E 26/05 with a surface area approximately 325.72 sq km

Council’s historical profile

The Noni people had a joint council with the Nso and Oku people called Nso Local Council until 1978 when the Elak Rural Council was created for the Oku and Noni people. Subsequently, Nkor Rural Council was created by Decree No 93/322 of 25/11/1993. Prior to its creation, the jurisdiction of Nkor Rural Council was administered jointly with that of Elak Rural Council as Oku-Noni Rural Council, with headquarters at Elak, Oku. Like all the councils of Cameroon, Nkor Council is a decentralized public entity with the status of a corporate body under public law.

Population figures

The estimated surface area of Nkor Council is 325.7 Sq.km. The population of this Council area in 1987 stood at about 17,700 inhabitants. During the surveys the population obatiand from all the communities summed up to approximately 63487 inhabitants see Table 3.2 below. This population is predominantly of the Noni ethnic group, sparsely settled across the Council area under ten (10) traditional Fondoms, with six (6) principal concentration zones along the Noni Ring Road at Mbinon, Lassin, Nkor, Dom, Din and Djottin. In addition to the indigenous Noni population, there is a growing trend for settler populations in the Council Area: a significant Fulani population, grouped into some eight (8) ardorates, is scattered across the entire council area, while a small colony of Nso extraction migrated from the neighbouring Kumbo subdivision and settled in Dom around Banten and Fofueng, and in some areas of Djottin around Buh, Mbiim, and Kerri (commonly referred to as Djottin-Nso).

The Fulani Vulnerable Group

The Fulani are a group of West African pastoralists. They move over vast areas and come across many cultures and are known by different names. In Cameroon they are called Fulani by the Hausa. The word Fulbe, which is another name for them, was first used by the German writers to refer to the Fulani.

Legend says the Fulani originated from the Arabian Peninsulaand migrated south-west to Sene-Gambia. From there they moved eastward, crossing several Sahelian and Savannah zones. The Fulani of Nkor council and North West Region in General, are a part of this migrant ethnic population having common occupational and biogenetic characteristics: light-skinned with curly hair, pointed nose, thin lips, and slender statue..

Constraints on Fulani household Size

Rapid population growth has a three-fold effect on the development of the Fulani. First, the population increase out-grows food supply. Second, social welfare amenities in the rural areas deteriorate faster than they can be replaced or repaired. Third, education increases the demand for the specialized needs of the future generation of the Fulani.

Typology of the Fulani leadership

Fulani have a quasi-government system. Contrary to popular belief, the Fulani have identifiable leaders with full or partial decision-making authorities. At the village level, for example, the settled Fulani have the Sarkin Fulani, a title that has existed since the Fulani came to Cameroon. Among the pastoral Fulani, sociopolitical structure centres on a typology of leadership consisting of the Ardo (the chief or the lineage head) and the Lamido.

Kinship groups and socioeconomic relationships

The Fulani kinship represents an economic as well as a convivial unit, having common territory and occupation. The Fulani social structure consists of the ethnic group, clan, lineage, family, and Ruga (household).

The ethnic group is the highest echelon and the conflation of the kinship groups. It embodies all members with a common origin, sharing a founding ancestor whose personage may or may not be known, or whose genealogical link may not be traced to individual members.

The Fulani are endogamous as well as polygamous. Celibacy is uncommon among the Fulani, who marry in their twenties. Divorce is also rare. As a result of polygamy and early marriages, the Fulani have high fertility. Despite high infant mortality, the population of the Fulani is growing fast, although slower than the national average. Household size is about six, with a nearly balanced sex-ratio. Age distribution is base-heavy, with children dominating. The Fulani are governed by a political structure consisting of the ethnic group, the clan, the lineage, the family, and the Ruga. Leadership among the Fulani is less aristocratic. The family is a herd-owning unit, united by common territory and occupation. Their herding system, described in the section that follows, involves frequent pastoral movement.

Sociology

Culture

The Noni man continues to exhibit most of the culture inherited from the ancestors or imbibed in the course of migration and interaction with the different people they met before settling in Noni land. This culture is mainly characterized by the Noni language, the main vehicle of Noni culture, arts, dressing styles, Festivals and dances.

A) Arts

Carving of mortars, masks, door posts, wooden beams for cultural houses

Weaving of bags, fishing baskets and many other types of baskets used at home and for the transportation of farm produce

Bamboo works

Decoration of calabashes

Thatching of houses with grass

B) Dressing styles: With the present trend of inculturation, no particular dressing style stands out as characteristic of the Noni people. The early settlers were identified with what was called the kitangchi or ting (cock’s tail) while the women wore what was then known as Tew and beads. In contemporary times, a Noni man is considered to be traditionally dressed when he wears what is commonly called Ndanchiki or Agbwada traditional regalia (of various types). As for a contemporary Noni woman, what is commonly called a two-rapper (dressed in loin clothes) qualifies her as dressed traditionally.

C) Festivals: The Noni people do not really have a time they come together to honour some traditional practices. However there are some practices common to them all that are honoured like the blessing of the land, the Noni Language Day and when a Fon’s death celebration is opened and new one enthroned. During these occasions, traditional dances and dishes are prepared to honour the event.

D) Dances: The Noni people have quite a lot of inherited dances and jujus that they continue to exhibit either for entertainment or for other traditional rites. These include the Nsem(blessing of seeds), friligang, mungwa, mukong, nchuma, mbaya, ngumba.

Land Use

The land is used for settlement, grazing, forest reserve and farming.

Settlement

There are basically three settlement patterns found in this municipality. These patterns are: Scattered, linear and nuclear settlements.

Scattered Settlement: This type of settlement is mostly found on farmlands and isolated hamlets, with houses dotted all over the place.

Linear Settlement: Almost all the villages in the area are linear settlements found mostly along the roadside.

Nucleated Settlement: This type of settlement can be seen in Nkor. Being the sub divisional headquarters, dministrative offices and residences for workers have made the settlement pattern to take this form. The main markets and small markets have equally contributed to this type of settlement. This is typical in Djottin and Lassin villages around their market areas. Palaces and Sub-palaces also exhibit this settlement pattern

Grazing land

Grazing lands are found mostly on the hillsides. Most village conflicts are cropper-herder conflicts. This is because most grazing lands are not demarcated and this leads to either the herders encroaching upon farmlands or the croppers encroaching upon grazing lands. This calls for the administration and the council to look for a proper way of solving this problem.

Farmland

Farming is one of the top economic activities in Nkor Municipality. Above 95% of the population is engaged in farming. Food crops are cultivated far off from the settlement area, while cash crops are cultivated besides or nearer the settlement area. The men are involved in the cultivation of cash crops, which include mainly coffee (Arabica), plantains, and raphia palm for palmwine production. Food crops, which are mostly cultivated by women, include potatoes, beans, maize, cocoyams, groundnuts, soya beans, etc.

Forest reserve

The Dom/Enteh forest reserve stands out as the lone forest reserve within the Nkor council area. Besides this one, there are other scattered patches of artificial forests made up essentially of eucalyptus trees, and in some few cases the cypress species that are used by the indigenes either for decorative purposes, construction or for boundary demarcation.

Presentation of socio-economic milieu

Agriculture

Despite the importance of agriculture to the economy of the area many farmers still carry out subsistence farming. Mix cropping is very common here as farmers seek to maximize land use. Farm sizes are generally small and 37% of the population farm less than 3 hectares. The farms are usually made up of two to three small plots located in different places. There is little use of inputs like fertilizers and pesticides, and production and productivity are low. Cash crop production is limited to Arabica coffee, with the beans produced of low quality, resulting in very low prices. The statistics for agricultural production are unreliable and need to be improved upon. Common problems include: poor soils, inaccessibility to modern farm inputs, frequent destruction of crops by domestic animals, cropper-herder conflicts, unorganized markets, impassable farm-to-market roads, extremely low farmers income, etc.

Agricultural activities

Agricultural extension has problems with personnel, logistics and lack of chemicals for treating maize and beans which are commonly attacked by weevils. Atellic 50 EC recommended is expensive and unaffordable by farmers. The few farmers who can afford it find it difficult to shell all their corn at once and treat, because they are used to shelling in bits from the “Banda” according to their home needs. Four agricultural posts exist with staff in Nkor, Lassin, and Bamti, while those in Djottin and Ngeptang are not staffed.

Livestock fisheries and animal husbandry

Cattle, goat, sheep and pig productions are prominent in the council area, whereas transhumance activities are more felt in the Lower Noni areas such as Chaw and Ekoweh, but for cropper-herder problems. The Council has accepted to apportion areas for transhumance. Cattle production ranks highest in Nkor, followed by Din and Mbinon. It was observed that sheep and goat production increased by 71.8% while cattle production had an insignificant increase. Poultry production, especially of local birds, increased by 13.2%. Generally, all livestock registered an increase in production, except for rabbit production that dropped by 15%. On the other hand, cattle on transhumance did not register any change. The figures provided for the livestock (cattle not included) situation of the municipality only pertained to the Lassin Zootechnical and Veterinary Center

Forest and Fauna

Other natural forests found on hillsides are made of patchy remains of very small trees that have survived extensive slash and burn farming practices over a very long period. The main forest is found in Mbinon and Bvugoi. However, all forests need to be conserved. Forest activities are limited. Bush mangoes and cola nuts are collected. Common trees in the forest include Gnidia glauca, which is used in neighboring Oku for local paper production. Eucalyptus trees are commonly used for timber and owned by individuals in small quantities.

There is no National Park and large game reserves are not common in this area. Animals like antelopes, monkeys, bush cats, rats, squirrels, cutting grass are common in the existing patches of forests. A limited number of people practice hunting.

Problems:

The major threats to the environment include the deforestation of the watershed resulting in significant reduction of the volume of water in the streams and springs. Threats of landslides are eminent on the hill slopes along the new road through Dom to Banten and on the roadside of the Dom-Mee road.

Bushfires are used here as means of regenerating pasture for grazing and, to a limited extent, for hunting. This destroys animal habitats, displaces animal species and could even render extinct some species.

Slashing, burying and burning of the buried grass are rampant malpractices in the municipality, which renders the soil more infertile.

Commerce

There are three main weekly markets that operate at full potential in the following order, Lassin market, Djottin and Bamti. Nkor, the seat of administration, has no functional weekly market because the day for the market is the same as that of Oku and Nkambe markets and most traders prefer these markets to that in Nkor. It will be of benefit to the council if another day is allocated to this market. Foodstuffs, meat, pigs, goats and chicken, palm wine are supplied while second- hand dresses, shoes, various articles, beer, fish and petrol sold come from Kumbo. There exist a few cattle markets that attract buyers from all over the province. Small daily markets are common in each village. Faulty measures are commonly used by “bayam-sellam” to the disadvantage of the villagers. Noni extends to major market points like Djottin, Bamti, Lassin and Nkor which are more or less accessible to neighbouring subdivisions from where traders come to buy or sell.

Tourism

Very little tourism activities take place in the municipality but however the bulk of tourists constitute traders and business persons who come weekly to attend the various village markets. They come mostly from Banso, Misaje, Ndu, and Nkambe, and spend the whole day. A few sleeping rooms are available in Bamti, Lassin and Nkor. The municipality has a rich potential for eco – tourism with vast river plains covered with corn fields, excellent rock climbing cliff, good biking road net work, horse riding down the hills to Nkor with a magnificent view, several palaces, shrines and caves are there to entertain tourists. The roads, accommodation facilities, trained manpower, communication network for mobile phones and CRTV remain the major obstacles to its development. Other sites, which if developed by the council will become great tourisitc sites, are the caves found in the Mbinon forest and another one found in the remaining patch of forest along the Dom - Banten road. It is even said that there is a Tiger and its cub around this cave. The forest if also reserved will once again become homes of endemic bird specie like the Banaman Tauraco.

3.2.1.6.6 Local Development Actors

3.2.1.6.6.1 NGO(s ) and Common initiative groups

There are a few organised cooperative associations and common initiative groups in the Council. Equally few NGOs based outside the municipality operate in this area. The following are the few common initiative groups.

- Nkor Jolly Mixed Farming Group

- Nkor Farm Men Union

- Nkor Progress Mixed Farmers Group

- Nkor-Djottin Mixed Farmers C.I.G

- Nyalim-Enkowe Maize Farmers C.I.G Nkor

- Kichia Mixed Farmers C.I.G

- Nkor CPMS

- Entoumbou Mixed Farmers C.I.G Nkor

- Kikoghen Mixed Farmers C.I.G Nkor

- Bomonti Farmers Group

- Enter Small Livestock C.I.G Nkor

- Bantoh Foodstuff And Livestock Group

- Mejeiwu Social Womens Group

- Bvugoi CPMS Limited

- Din Cooperative Produce Marketing Board

- Cooperative Produce Society, Lassin

- Bongabi Group,Lassin

- Nkwaki Group, Lassin

- Bonchite, Lassin

- Kikonen, Lassin

- ANCO- Agriculture and Nature conservation Organization

- PNDP National Community Driven Development Program

- HEIFER Project International

- CREAM- Childrens’ Reassurance Ministry

- GP- DERUDEP-

- CAMGIS Cameroon Geographic Information System

Village Development association

Village Development and Cultural Associations undertake development activities in the Council area. The following are the few officially registered.

- NDA: Nkor Development Authority

- MBIDA: Mbinon Development Association

- LADA: Laan Development Association

- DIDA: Din Development Association

- BVUDA: Bvugoi Development Association

- NVPA: Ngeptang Development Association

- BDU: Bamti Development Union

- FADA: Febweh Area Development Association

- SADU: Shiew Area Development Union

- MBIDA: Mbinon Development Association

- LADA: Lassin Development Association

- NDA: Nkor Development Authority

- DADA: Djottin Area Development Association