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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

TOMBEL

 

Mayor  Mme NGASSA Rose 

Phone +237 677 75 35 70

  

DESCRIPTION OF THE MUNICIPALITY

Tombel council is located in the South West region of Cameroun. It is situated between latidude 04°16’ and 05°15’ north and longitude 09°13’ and 09°15’ East. It lies on the western side of the Kupe Mountain from where the name Kupe Muanenguba division. Geometrically, Tombel is likened to the African continent with its Northern part large and the southern part reduced. It covers a surface of 1007 Km2 and has a population of 110 178 inhabitants.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BIOPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Climate

The climate of the subdivision is typical of tropical nature with all year warm temperatures, abundant rainfall, which coupled with rich soils, support rich natural forest and a wide variety of tropical crops both for local consumptions and for exportation. The rainy season lasts from April to September and dry season from October to march. Presently, because of climate change, the situation is not quiet the same.

Soils.

The soil in Tombel municipality is extremely fertile; composed of volcanic ashes. As far back as the 19th century, soil erosion by water was really a critical problem, which greatly affected the economic life of the population of Tombel. Most hills were affected, most farmlands and roads were destroyed massively. Hence, ideas were brought in on how to prevent soil erosion by planting trees.

In general the soil of Tombel is favorable for agricultural activities. The fertility of the land is quite encouraging as much credits go to valley buttoms where the annual yields of food crops is abundant.

It is important to remember that the Kupe Forest is a repository of endemism of endangered plant and threatened animal species.

The soil is well-drained, deep and quite young.

Relief

The relief is dominated by the Kupe Mountain (2050m) in the Bakossi uplands(400m) with the Edib hills (600m) as the dominant feature in the central part of the North. The centre is occupied by the low land tectonic origin (the Bakossi trough) which is hummed in by fault-line.

Kupe witnesses the presence of gentile slopes, deep valleys and some seasonal streams (brooks) particularly “Esenze” which originated from the mountain, flows and bisects Kupe II, and III and continues it movement towards the southern direction of Tombel town.

Hydrography (main water courses)

The water path in Tombel follows the relief. This is the reason for the presence of many waterfalls including the powerful “Kuku fall” of Mekom. The hydrography network is meaningful: we have the Moungo river which crosses many villages, several permanent and seasonal streams (Toow, Ngese, Ebulle, childe, Metobe, Edibana, Kola, Esemze), then about 102 springs acting as water supply points which provide good drinking water for the villages not having pipe borne water .

The Moungo river which is the main waterways. of the municipality is sandy and rich of fish. Drainage is essentially done through the Moungo River. Chunge, Chide, Ekeb, Mekunave (West) and Epub-Blackwater, Swene (East) are its main tributaries. None of these rivers is practically navigable to an average extent.

Flora and Fauna

Tombel municipality is in the hearth of the Tropical rain forest with a great variety of tropical trees. Valuable timber has always been exploited from the forest for local use but more for exportation, successively by SAFA and CAMEROON Industrial Forest. But the exploitation of timber for exportation, in areas like in Western Bakossi has been void for the development of projects such as constructing good bridges, taring roads etc..,which the people have the right to expect from such exploiters of their local wealth.

The natural vegetation cover in Kupe village has similar characteristics with that of the dense equatorial rain forest, harboring a wide range of varieties of natural resources. Fauna and flora are very rich. Concurrently, the type of farming method experienced in this village has changed some part of the forest into a savannah type. There are large forests in the town of Tombel but the disappearance of forests and porching is causing the extinction of some wildlife species such as chimpanzees, gorillas, certain breeds of monkeys and big preys. Despite the scarcity or even the disappearance of some species, wildlife consists mostly of birds, reptiles (snakes), small rodents (hedgehogs, rats, porcupines, squirrels) and hares, deers and monkeys . irds are undoubtedly more numerous in some areas and cause great losses to crops.

As for the domestic fauna, there are: pigs, dogs, cats, poultry, small ruminants. Some traditional hunters set traps, roam the fields with dogs and guns to catch prey for food. It should be noted that poaching has a negative impact on some wildlife species that are threatened with extinction

Natural resources

The geographical area of the Tombel council is full of a considerable potential of mineral resources identified and composed of sand quarries, stone and clay. These natural resources are not sufficiently developed to be better exploited so as to generate wealth that would be used to carry out development projects in the Tombel municipality. There is glaring evidence of uncontrolled exploitation and unsustainable management of forest resources without any consideration of the environmental and social consequencies.

The forest areas classified under protected status include:

- Bakossi National Park (29.320 ha)

- Mount Kupe Integral Ecological Reserve (4.676 ha)

- Lake Edib Integral Ecological Reserve (80 ha)

However, more than 20.000 hectares found in the Bakossi mountains have been reserved for the creation of a community forest and official logging concessions

HISTORY AND PEOPLE OF THE COUNCIL

Tombel municipality is administered by traditional leaders of second and third degrees in 72 communities. Community life is thriving in rural communities with the existence of about 250 common initiative groups and cultural associations for social and economic support. However, the involvement of women is still minor in the council as in the country in general and in several other African countries. The habitat in Tombel takes several forms as they are situated in a rural or urban zones. In urban areas it is particularly concentrated while in rural areas it is quiet dispersed. So one meets areas with high concentration of houses and others completely uninhabited. The houses are mixed, traditional and modern type. In rural areas, houses are mostly built with boards and have zinc roofs. The wood used as building materials frame is of local source. In urban areas, there are some places with real villas.

History of the Council

The town TOMBEL from which the area got its name, derived that name from a plant of the lily family, locally called ”tombel”. Today agricultural activity has wiped off this plant except on land that is still virgin

Demography

The Tombel municipality covers a surface of 1007 Km2 for a population estimated at about 110 178 inhabitants. The Tombel municipality is constituated of 72 villages administered by chiefs of 2nd and 3rd degree .The major sociological groups are Bakossi, Grass landers, Nigerians, Banyangi, Oroko. We can observe population concentration in the administrative center of the town, the four urban area and CDC camps.

In general, the population consists of: -Approximately 42,690 men - Approximately 42,587 women - And about 24 901 children aged 0-16 years.

Ethnic Groups and inter-ethnic relations

In the Tombel municipality, One meets several ethnic groups which are subdivided into two main groups: -The Bantu: Made up of the Bakossi who form the majority and other English-speaking cameroonians such as the Banyangi and Oroko. - The Semi-Bantu: Made of the Bamileke. It also met in the Tombel Municipality foreigners from other countries like the Nigerians and Malians living in harmony with local people. The different ethnic groups living in the community so far live in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.

Religion

Almost 85% of the Tombel population is made up of Christians. Many christian denominations such as Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptist, Apostolic Church, Lutheran Faith and other Pentecostal denominations dotted all over the town. The population of Moslems is very minimal.

Main economic activities

Generally, economic activity is characterized by the practice of small income generating activities to cope with the persistence of unemployment among youths, the persistence of poverty. Despite the income generated by the sale of cocoa, the daily quest for the satisfaction of physiological needs remains a primary concern in families.

Agriculture

Almost 90% of the population is engaged in agricultural production, cultivating mainly crops such as cocoa, cassava, plantains, maize, coffee, fruit trees and especially palm oil which is progressively gaining ground. Rubber is also produced in Tombel sub-division especially in Peng, Kola, Edise, Edibnjock, Ebubu, Cocoa Camp and Manzung Camp by CDC.

Cocoa is the most cultivated cash crop occupying almost 55% of the total cultivated land, meanwhile plantain is coming up to be the main source of revenue of farmers.

Cattle Breeding and Fishing

In livestock, people in the geographical area of Tombel municipality practice the traditional breeding of poultry and small ruminants and pigs. The breeding of cattle is not developed in the town. The absence of a livestock market, the lack of fish farming, unconventional breeding of livestock and inadequate veterinary services are limitations to the modernization of livestock which is a source of income in the municipality. Tombel municipality is not so much rich of waterways conducive for fishing. The Mungo river is almost the only one that allows some people to fish as a secondary activity and make income that contributes to the survival of their families. Fishery products are mostly sold on the local market The fish species found in the different markets are: carpfish, catfish, tilapia, lobsters, fish from other municipalities..

Hunting

Tombel is a forest area municipality and hunting is an important and widespread activity. Although the regulations governing hunting are not respected, hunting is professionally done. Most hunters catch birds (partridge) and trap rodents (rats, hedgehog, porcupine) and their harvest is used for family consumption.

Forest Exploitation

Valuable timber has always been exploited from the Tombel forest for local use but more for exportation. Exporters have successively been SAFA and CAMEROON Industrial Forest namely in areas like Western Bakossi.

The natural vegetation cover in Tombel municipality has similar characteristics to that of the dense equatorial rain forest, harboring a wide range of varieties of natural resources including fauna and flora. Concurrently, the type of farming method experienced in this village has changed some part of the forest into a savannah type

Collection of Non timber forest products (NDFP)

As timber forest product, the populations of the council exploit raffia for the collection of white wine for home consumption, for sale and for traditional ceremonies. The collection of this forest resource is however anarchic because everyone buys according to his needs.

Handicrafts

The craft is to some extend endangered due to a lack of transmission policy. The craft is dominated by wood carving with the carving of objects of common use such as mortar, pestle hoes’ handle, masks and other objects used locally for tradition purposes.Handicraft is also dominated by the art of bamboo and the use of fiber to make baskets and furnitures. There is also, at a very local scale, some small weaving and knitting of traditional dresses and bags, raffia mats.

Commerce

Several shops are available both in the urban and rural areas because of the averagely important number of potential consumers from all works of life. However, there is nearly no shop in town selling equipment. Populations, therefore, exposed their products as they can in undeveloped markets, adapting to the best of their capacities to the climate variations. The town should carry out some useful studies aimed at equipping and organizing these markets which are significant sources of communal revenues. Access to these markets will also be facilitated through road development. These markets could therefore attract a significant number of customers coming from the town, the villages and surrounding areas.

Services ( Private Sector)

Services available in the Tombel municipality are mainly: the Office, garages bikes, the Hairdresser, the Call Box, micro finance (Express Union FIFFA, CAMCUL), small businesses, construction sites, transportation goods and people by bike and by car. We also note the presence of images cable- distributors (photographs and wiring), water (TOCOWASS), electricity (eneo) and Telephone Network operators (MTN, Orange and to a lesser extend CAMTEL).