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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

ALOU

 

 

  Mayor   NTEMGWA Paul Sixtus
Phone         +237 677 84 78 32
Number of municipal councilors 31
Surface Area 705.63 km2
Density 84.73 persons/km2
Number of inhabitants 59,793

LOCATION OF ALOU COUNCIL AREA.

Alou council is geographically located at eastern coordinate of 5312890 and western of 9562480 at an elevation of 1611m above sea level. It is circumscribed in Alou Sub Division in Lebialem Division of the South Region in Cameroon. It is bounded in the North by Wabane Sub Division and in the South by Fontem Sub Division. It further shares a common boundary to its West by Menoua Division (West region) and to the East by Manyu Division of the South West Region. The creation of Alou Sub Division by Decree no 94/010 on January 12, 1994, paved a way for a constituted people of Alou Sub Division to benefit the status of a rural council legalized by decree no 95 / 085 of 24th April 1995. Its urban space covers 14 villages which are in two main Fondoms of Ndungatet and Nwametaw. The Ndungatet Fondom of the urban space stretches from the Foto’s Palace through Sandsan quarter, Three-corners, Atululi to the main market while the Nwametaw end of the urban space starts from the its Palace across Nwasah village, Nchenallah Nqwuin villages towards the main market. The urban space host the central administration of Alou Sub Division, the council premises, administrative structures, a main market and significant population of villagers and civil society.

Away from the urban space there is a span of 60 dispersed villages stretching from lower zone made up of Njenatah, Effong, Mbin, Njenawung, Alou, Atem, Lekeng, Attrah and Mankenana. The upper part of the council area is covered with M’mockmbie, M’mouck, Mbelenka, Menky, Nembat, Atulleh, Atsombie, villages.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BIOPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Climate

The council area experiences a bi-modal climate (2 seasons) regime – the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season begins in November and ends in March while the rainy season that begins in mid-march and stretches up to October and sometimes November. Average annual rainfall varies from 1400mm to 1800mm. However, these seasons are gradually becoming unpredictable owing to the phenomenon of climate change.

The majority of the areas within the municipality is generally cold to very cold especially in the evening which is accompanied by dense fog locally called “Aluo”. Temperatures vary between 180C to 300C, though sometimes it can go below the 180C especially during the harmattan periods of November to January. It is widely known that the name Alou is derived from the foggy nature of the area. The coldness is due to the altitude that ranges from 1611m around 3-corners Ndungated to 1900m in Mbelenka (M’muockngie).

Soils

The soils in Alou vary due to the difference in topography and vegetation. From the lower part of Effong, Njenawung, through Ndung nwa and parts of M’mouckbie the soils are reddish, rocky and gravely with a thin organic matter layer (5-10cm). The top soil horizons emanate from the underlying sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks which have surfaced around the black-stone quarry in Nchenallah and Atululi (stone-head) areas of the urban space. The presence of many eucalyptus trees render the soil to be poor due to many ramified tree plant rooting in the soil.

This notwithstanding, results of a soil analysis carried out by the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) Ekona between M’mouckmbie to M’mouckngie in 2010 showed that the soils within these zones are comparatively deeper upper layer, slightly acidic (pH 4.87-6.64), higher in nitrogen and a CEC of less than 10cmol. These soils support the cultivation of vegetable crops including irish potato, cabbage, carrots and leeks. However, due to the topography of the land and the silty to sandy texture of the soil, these soils are susceptible to leaching and soil erosion. This must be controlled in order to sustain yi3.2.3 Relief and Landforms

In general, the land form in the Alou municipality is hilly and undulating particularly in the South West of the area.. It gradually rises from an altitude of 450m at Ndumbin through 1611m at Ndungatet and Nwametaw (in the urban space) to over 2100m in Mbelenka. Though some of the hill tops are broad-shaped, many are characterised by truncated V-shaped valleys with small streams or rivers

Hydrology

There are 02 main rivers – RiversNtsembou that croses below and forms the natural boundary between Alou and Alou municipalities, Belarack in Ndumbin, Ntzeh-To between Lewoh and Njenawung, Ntzeh-Mbup, Ngemamoh and Ntzeh-Choh – all crossing through Njenawung flows flows down to join River Bagwor in Upper Bayang Sub-Division. There are equally many small streams that cut through the villages in the lower parts of M’mouckmbie down to Njenawung to Ndumbin. The majority of the villages get drinking water from small streams and springs. A few villages are however, provided with pipe-borne water.

Vegetation (Flora) and Wildlife (Fauna)

Vegetation (Flora).

The area has two main vegetations, the typical ever green forest which covers the lower zones of Nkandu, Njenatah, Efong, Atem, Alou, Keleng, Attrah etc. These villages show a spatial view of mainly palm trees interspaced by cocoa farmland and a few tall forest trees and shrubs (timber and non-timber forest products). The forest area changes sharply to a typical tropical savanna vegetation from Anya Menkey Atullah, Nembat villages of Upper lewoh zone, M’mockmbie and M’muockngie, areas with conspicuous clusters of Eucalyptus trees and shrubs.

Fauna (Wildlife)

The difference in vegetation type gives rise to a variety of wildlife species. Wildlife in the lower forest zones are mainly monkeys (Cercopithecus spp) Porcupine(Atherurus africanus) and antelopes while in the upper savanna zones they are cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus) and rat moles. They are equally a variety of reptiles, birds and insect species in both types of vegetation.

Protected areas

Even though there is no protected area (Reserve or Park) in the municipality the inhabitants of the Fondoms protect patches of forest of varying size – 0.5 to 1.5Ha especially around the palaces (chief or Fons Palace). These mini reserves are traditionally referred to as “Lefem” or sacred forest. These “Lefems” contain forest trees with closed canopies and shrubs or one large tree around which the villagers traditionally adore or offer sacrifices. These areas are void of any farming or anthropological activities

History and People of the Council

Origin of the people,

According to oral information obtained during diagnoses, human being lived in Alou council area since the last two centuries. The inhabitants of the different fondons in the area came from different places. The people of Njenawung, Upper Lewoh, Ndungatet and Nwametaw originated from Dschang (Western region of Cameroon) and share similar way of life with the Bamilike people of Menoua Division. The majority of inhabitants of Njenatah (Lower lewoh) hold their origin to the Bayangies from the Upper Banyang Sub Division of Manyu Division while the M’mock people of the council area derieved their origin form the Wabanes.

The settlements and start of the villages was influenced mainly by fertile soils for farmland. The diversity in origin of the people has resulted to a variation in dialect and behavior. So much has changed in number, and scale of development to an existing six chiefdoms of the council area; Ndungatet, Nwametaw, Njenawung, M’mockmbie, M’mockngie and Lewoh chiedoms. The legal status and limit of these chiefdoms is highly disputed today.

Population structure

The population of Alou municipality is estimated at a total of 59,793 (source: village diagnosis)

In its urban space (Ndungatet and Nwametaw) a total population of 11003 inhabitants were identified Within the age brackets, it has an active population age group of about 29 % in the urban area (Table 4). According to the same sources about 63 % of the total populations are female while 37 % are males.

Ethnic groups

The main ethnic group of the municipality is the Nweh. They are distributed into 6 Fondoms - Ndungatet, Nwametaw, Lewoh, M’mouckmbie, M’mouckngie and Nwengong. Most of these people have the coppied the culture of the bamilikes of the menoua Division. Among these chiefdoms, the Lewoh people speak typical Nweh dialect while the Ndungatet, Nwametaw and Nwagong have very similar acent to the Bamilike. The M’mockmbie and M’mockngie speak the Mundani dialect similar to the Mundani people of Wabane Sub Division. A minor population of the Lower Lewoh Njenatah speaks bayangi due to their common associations and intermarriages between the Upper banyang people of the Manyu Division.

The inhabitatnts of Ndungatet and Nwametaw have family links with those of Fongo-Tongo in the Menoua Division of the West region. Other minority tribes exist, most of whom are civil servants transferred to work in the area.

Religion

The population of the area are mostly Christians. The dominant denomination is the catholic who are said to settle here before other religion. The second most popular are the Protestants (Presbyterians). They congregate mostly in Lewoh and M’mouck Fossimondi. Others minority exist like the Apostolic and the Full Gospel mission.

Main economic activities

The council area is highly limited in terms of vibrant economic activities. Most inhabitants are farmers with an average monthly income of 30 000FCFA (SDDARD Alou).Farming activities is very much intense in the M’muock zone where heavy trucks can be seen loading vegetable crops (Irish potato, Cabbage, Carrot, Leeks) to neighbouring cities like Dschang, Douala, and Kumba. Apart from farming, the inhabitants are involved in off-licence sales with restaurant, and petit trade (provision stores). The provision stores are located around the permanent markets while most of the owners live in other villages and operate the stores mainly on market days.Economic groups such as builders (carpenters and bricklayers), auto mechanic, and tailors are also very active in the villages with an economic threshold of about 10 000fcfa per month( Source: VPD).