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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

ZHOA

 

Mayor  TEM Peter CHEGHE

Phone  +237 699 31 16 80

   

Description of the municipality

Zhoa council corresponds to the Fungom Sub division of Menchum Division in the North West Region of Cameroon. It has 26 villages, but for the purpose of planning the council area was carved into 35 planning units. The council has a total surface area of 7000km2. The council is bounded to the North by Furu Awa council and the Republic of Nigeria, to the South by MenchumValley and Wum Councils, to the East by the Republic of Nigeria and to the West by Bum council. Figure 1 below shows the location map of Zhoa council.

Demography

According to the council estimate, the Zhoa municipality has a total population of 58,000 inhabitants distributed over its 35 villages with women making up to 52% and men 48% of the population. The council area has a vibrant active population which consists of youths between the ages of 15 to 35 years. The majority of the populations within the council area are children within the ages of 0-5 years and 6-14 years which constitute children of school age.

Culture.

The traditional attire is marked dress with a cap for men, loin, blouse and head scarf for women. The stable food of the people is fufu and vegetable which is commonly called “Effie”. In some occasions, cocoyams and egusi pudding is served.

Ethnic groups and inter-ethnic relations.

The people of the Zhoa council belong mainly to the Tikaris and Mbororos (Akus) ethnic groups. Generally, there are several other clans found within the council area like the Mmen, Zhoa, Ngun, Menkaf, Esu, Buu, Fang, Mundabili, Munken, Marshi, Abar and Aku clans and a mixture of several Cameroonian tribes that inhabit the Zhoa council area. These people from different ethnic backgrounds co-exist and interact in many domains like social groups, professional groups as well as inter marrying.

Religion

Just as in Cameroon, there is freedom of religious worship in Zhoa council area. Generally, the people practice Christianity. The main Christian denominations in the area include: Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Baptists and Full Gospel. There are also Muslims, and traditionalists in the municipality.The religious institutions contribute to the development of the municipality by providing educational and psychosocial facilities like orphanages.

Historical profile of Zhoa Council

The Fungom people originated from the Tikari. Around the 15th century, they moved from the Western region and settled around Babadjou. Around the 17th century, they moved from Babajou and a section of the population went through Noni while another group came to Bafut. The group that moved to Bafut settled at a quarter known today as Buweh. They later moved to Weh and Esu. The group that moved to Noni settled at Njotin for some time and later on moved to where we call Bafmen today.

The villages of the council areas are divided into four zones for easy administration.

Climate

The council area has an equatorial climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy season (mid March to mid October) and the dry season (Mid October to mid March) .The annual amount of rainfall varies from 1300mm to over 2500mm.The rainfall pattern provides suitable conditions for both perennial and annual crops. The amount of rainfall is one of the most important factors influencing agriculture, livestock rearing; (nomadic trends of the Mbororo). Daily temperatures are average throughout the year and range from 25°C to 28°C.

Soils

The soils range from volcanic, clay loam, lateritic, salt and sandy alluvial soil types with high agricultural potentials. The clay loam soils are highly exploited for the cultivation of crops like maize, coco yams, egusi and plantains. Sandy alluvial soils are exploited for groundnut farming plantation agriculture. Due to poor farming techniques in the area, the soil is being depleted and gradually losing its fertility. Lateritic soils are often used in making bricks for construction of houses.

Relief

The urban space relief of the municipality is characterized by undulating and unseen rolling hills and mountains. The area is generally an open-shrubby – savanna. The area has steep slopes <25% in Parts of Mmen, Nyos, Koshin, Mundabili, Munken, Esu and Zhoa. The area can be classified in the mid altitude zone which lies about 900-1500m above sea level. Both the lowland and hilly areas are favorable for human settlement. The area has some susceptible landslide zones in lower Nyos area, Cha’a and Munken. The undulating and rolling hills serve as grazing sites and could be used for creation of private and municipal forest plantations.

Hydrology

The main water bodies within the municipality include the famous Lake Nyos and Lake Kuk (both volcanic), river Kimbi, river Boum and major streams like Ndie-eh, Imieh and Tef. Many smaller streams feed the main rivers and streams. The water bodies have fish species like tilapia, catfish and other water creatures. These water bodies are mostly exploited for sand and local carp fishing. The streams and rivers are also used as sources of water for domestic use (washing, cooking and even drinking) in most of the villages. There also exist a few springs in the areas which are also used as water sources for domestic purposes and drinking. There exist marshy areas in Weh-Kefum, Weh central, Kumfutu, Cha’a, Weh-Wum road which are permanently wet during the rainy season.

Vegetation

The vegetation of the council area is mainly savanna with patches of gallery forest and mountain forest. There is the Fungom forest reserve which covers part of the lower Fungom areas and Gayama area. The forest is highly exploited for Non Timber Forest Product (NTFPs) like nuts, cane, resins and wood like Iroko and mahogany. There exist council forest in Bafmen and Esu.

Fauna

There exists the Fungom reserve which is a state forest (84,758 hectares). The tropical dense rainforest is the home to many animal species like chimpanzees, gorillas, leopards, snakes, antelopes and birds. The council area is also blessed with the existence of sacred forests in most of the villages. Due to under staffing situation of the sector within the council area there exists indiscriminate exploitation of forest resources (timber and NTFPs), rampant bush fires, extensive poaching of animals and encroaching for farming and grazing purposes. This has led to the disappearance of many forest fauna species that existed in the municipality before.

Protected Areas

There exist natural sites with ecological importance like wetlands, forest reserves, swamps and sacred forests. Some with protection status and some without protection status. This explains the reason why there is high rate of exploitation and depletion of natural resources in the municipality. There is need for zoning, to carve out some of the ecologically important areas for protection as well as obtaining legalization for these protected areas.

Mineral Resources

There are possibilities of minerals in some parts of the council area. In the Mundabili slopes Ferrotic stones were observed which could be exploited for economic purposes. Bocom Petroleum has been given an autorisation to do some research on mineral potentials in this village.The council area is also endowed with a lot of sand in rivers and streams. This sand is exploited in small scale by the inhabitants for income. There exist quarries (lateritic pits) along the Yemge stretch of road which can be exploited for the construction of roads and other infrastructure. The inhabitants of the communities also exploit these minerals for their welfare and construction of houses.

Housing and Family Systems

In Zhoa area, housing is made up of typical mud blocks with uncemented floors and grass rooftops. This traditional housing patterns of the area have been greatly modified over the years in Esu, Weh and Bafmen areas where hatched houses that were formally popular are no longer common. The Mbororos have their traditional round huts, which are now being gradually replaced. Most compounds in this council area lack toilets.

In the Council area, the family is generally headded by men, about 40% of whom are polygamists. In general, female children do not inherit their father’s property.

Tourism

Tourism is an industry that can fetch much income for Zhoa council. Unfortunately, the touristic potentials and sites are under developed with no roads to reach there. A case in point is the famous Lake Nyos that attracts tourists and researchers around the world but the road to reach there is very bad. Only 2 km from along the main ring road is tarred to the lake outlet. There are other interesting waterfalls, hills and forests. Tourism establishments such as restaurants and hotels are generally not available. The main urban space for example has no inn or rest house.