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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

IDENAU

 

 

   Mayor TONDE LIFANJE Gabriel
Number of municipal councilors 25
Surface Area 16 km2
Density 508.68 persons/km2
Number of inhabitants 8139

Location of the council

The Idenau council (within West Coast Subdivision) was created by presidential decree No 95/206 of 24th April 1995. Idenau is the head quarters of the West Coast Sub division located in Fako Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. It is located some 29km from Limbe city. The Idenau municipality has a total surface area of 16km2 with an estimated population of 30,000 inhabitants living in 8 villages, among which are fishing ports, native communities and CDC camps (Council project report 2010). Field survey reveals that the actual population is 8139 persons. It is located between latitude 4.2333330N and longitude 8.98333330E with an altitude of about 300m above sea level (asl) in the mainland area and 5m in the maritime area. Generally, Idenau municipality is found on the North of Atlantic Ocean and the windward side of Mount Cameroon.

It is bounded to the North by a stretch of the Mount Cameroon National Park, to the North East by Buea sub-division, to the East by Limbe II municipality, to the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the West by Bamusso sub-division, and to the North West by Mbonge Sub-division. The average temperature range is about 25-300C and have a mean monthly rainfall of about 5000mm to 8000mm.

Description of the biophysical environment

The Idenau municipality has two distinct biophysical environments (Maritime and mainland). The mainland area is covered by ever green forest vegetation with some of the villages situated at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The coastal region stretches from Bakingili to Enyenge while the mountain/forest region covers the Northern section of the municipality including Etome village and Mt Etinde at the South East.

The maritime area consists of 2 villages, Enyenge and Kosse II, surrounded by an evergreen mangrove ecosystem with rich biodiversity. Accessibility to these villages is through the creeks or by high sea. Three quarter of the surface area has altitudes of about 5m to 20m asl. The area is risky during the rainy season due to the swampy areas and encroachment of the sea.

Three settlement types can be envisaged within the municipality. That is, the native communities, the fishing port (beach) and the CDC camps. The native communities include, Bakingili, Etome, Njonji, Bibunde, Sanje, and Kosse II. The fishing ports include Debundscha beach, Isobe, Bibunde, and Enyenge fishing ports. The CDC camps include Wete-Wete, Isongo, Caraboat, Mbanda, Debundscha, Njonji, Bibunde, Scipio, Rechtsfluss and Soden.

Climate

Idenau council area has an equatorial climate that is marked by two distinct seasons (dry and rainy season). Rainfall is unimodal and spreads from March to November with a temperature range of about 25-28˚C. The rainfall rises up to 4000 mma-1 with its peak being in July, August and September. The peak of the dry season falls in December and January.

Average annual temperature is 27°C and the wind speed is 2 mph. The mean annual relative humidity ranges between 80% and 95% (CDC weather records). These climatic conditions make the soil favourable for the growth of oil palms, cocoa, cassava and other food crops. The West coast is a distinct area with respect to rainfall pattern. Debundscha is noted to have the highest rainfall in Africa, and rainfall is observed throughout the year.

The dry season is characterized by dry winds that blow from the mountain in a North East to a South Westerly direction. During this period, daily temperatures are high with a slight drop in the night. During the rainy season rains are heavy creating a favourable environment for rain-fed cultivation. The rains are occasionally associated with storms and floods that are destructive to crops and property.

Soils

The dominant soil type in this municipality is the dark fertile and stony volcanic soils with patches of alluvial and sandy loam soils (MINADER report). The hills are a dissected plateau of old volcanic rocks with a few up-faulted sedimentary belts. These soil types coupled with the level terrain is very good for agriculture generally and plantation agriculture in particular.

Relief

The relief of the council area is a flat surface with gentle slopes and patches of steep slopes towards the mountain. This level nature of the area greatly accounts for the choice of the location of the Cameroon Development Cooperation (CDC) plantations on the mainland areas. There are swamps, creeks and sand-pits at the coastal region close to the Atlantic Ocean.

Hydrology

Besides Atlantic Ocean, the main land area of the council is endowed with so many water courses including rivers, creeks, streams, and springs. Some of these water courses include; Ndiweh spring of Etome and “cold source” of Bakingili which serve as the main source of can water and the point of construction of community catchment. Some of these water courses, empty into the sea.

History and People of the council

Ethnic Groups and inter-ethnic relations

Two indigenous ethnic groups were recorded in the council area: Bakweri in Etome and Bomboko in the other native communities. Non-indigenes have also settled in these areas and they include; Oroko, Bakossi, Bayangs, North westerners, Francophones all from Cameroon and foreigners from Nigeria, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Ghana. These inhabitants/settlers engage in agriculture, fishing and other income generating activities including the civil service.

Religion

The inhabitants of Idenau municipality practice Christianity, Islamism and African traditional religion. Christianity is the predominant religion practiced by more than 90% of the population. The Christians worship in different denominations, prominent among which are Catholic, Presbyterian, Apostolic, Baptist and Full Gospel. There are also pagans who adhere to African traditional religion (‘masquerade’ and shrine worship) and Moslems, both of whom constitute less than 10% of the population.

Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptist and Full Gospel have been involved in evangelization for a long time and have made efforts to improve on the educational development of the municipality. Proximity of the council to the Federal Republic of Nigeria has facilitated the influx of several new Christian religious movements.

Mobility of the population

The Idenau municipality is endowed with diverse resources and opportunities which are at the reach of the average person. These include the fertile soil, forest resources, fishing grounds, unskilled labour opportunities and water transport medium to/from the country. Consequently, the municipality has been vulnerable to migration within and out of the country especially Nigeria and Ghana. Mobility of the population involves; rural exodus (rural urban migration), rural to rural area migration, urban to rural migration and international migration to and from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Benin, Togo and Equatorial Guinea.

These migrants move in search of economic engagements, further education, vocational training.

The presence of CDC in the municipality has attracted a considerable proportion of skilled and unskilled workers from other parts of the country.

Basic socio-economic infrastructure

The main economic activities are fishing, fish processing (mongering), agriculture, livestock production, international trading, and small scale businesses. The basic socio-economic infrastructures include; 2 Government Health Centres, 2 Private (CDC) dispensaries, 3 lay private clinics, 1 Professional College of Fisheries and Agriculture, 1 Government High School, 1 Government Technical College, 1 SAR-SM, 5 public and 3 private Nursery schools, 9 public and 4 private Primary schools, AES Electricity network, portable water provided by CDC, Mt Etinde/Semme water source, boreholes, Idenau- Batoke-Limbe road network and Idenau wharf, sectoral offices, CDC plantations and 2 financial institutions (Credit Union and FIFFA bank). Transportation in the maritime is through the high sea or creeks. Commercial transporters use large sea engine boats with various horse powers. The council is also blessed with tourist attractions such as the lava deposits, Lake Nachtigal, beaches, Mt Cameroon, among others. CDC camps including Njonji and Etome are the only communities with pipe borne water.