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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

DIKOME BALUE

 

 

   Mayor  ITOE Benjamin NJIO 
Number of municipal councilors  25
Surface Area/km2  5000 km2
Number of inhabitants  30,256
Date of creation 24/04/97

 LOCATION OF THE COUNCIL

The council (Dikome Balue municipality map) below is located in the South West Region of Cameroon, in Ndian Division, in Dikome Balue Subdivision. It is limited in the West by Mundemba council, in the South by Ekondo titi Council, in the East by Konye council, in the North by Tiko council. Its GPS points are: X = 04.90148; Y = 009.25526; Z = 1168. It situated at 107 km from Douala and 36 km from Kumba. It covers 5000 km2, that is 1,33% of the national territory. It is made of 14 villages; 1 urban space (Dikome Balue) with 7 quarters, 3 development zones: Rata,Bowedi and Nembi

DESCRIPTION OF THE BIOPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

CLIMATE

The climate is mostly cloudy and rainy, observed temperatures varie between 18 to 24 0C. the humidy is about 90%, Rainfall ranges from 2000 to 3000 mm. Two seasons are also observed within the municipality. The longest one being the rainy season; from mid March to mid November while the dry season goes from mid November to mid March. But rain falls in Dikome Balue throughout the year. the biggest rainy period being from July to September

SOILS

It is a volcanic fertile soil rich of humus on the top soil covering the 14 villages. The subsoil being brown while the topsoil is black. it is mixed with stones of micro, medium and big sizes.it is made of Clay,sandy and silt. The land is used (Figure 2:. Soil occupation) here for settlement, building of infrastructures, agriculture, livestock and fishing activities, , forest activities (hunting, forest exploitation, honey collection, mushroom collection, non timber forest product collection)

RELIEFS

It is diversified. It is shared in between chains of hills and depressions covering the 14 villages. The tallest hills are found at Dikome and Mofako being Rumpi highlands and RATA mountain with composite volcano of the Cambrian type that has not erupted in our recent times. These mountains range connect with the Manenguba, kupe, Fako and Equatorial Guinea highlands. Beside them, are also very tall rocks at Itende, Bonji and Difenda.

HYDROGRAPHY

Hydrography network (figure 3: Hydrography) is composed of surface and underground water. Surface water is made of abundant springs found everywhere in each of the 14 villages. They take their source from the hills, flow down to lower area and meet to form 49 streams which also merge to form 9 rivers in the municipality and 5 streams respectively called Mokorikori, Mofombi, Nya, Bosame, and Bifake are found at Dikome, Meme river found at Ebobe, Betenge and Mekoma, Yoke river found at Diboki and Weme, IYAKO river found at Bosunga (hammock bridge); Kombone river found at Mbombe. 16 waterfalls are also found.Underground water is found everywhere with a depth of not less than 1,5 m.

VEGETATION

It is made of montane and submontane virgin forest, of agriculture food and cash crops (cocoa, coffee, palms, cassava, yams, plantains..) covering each of the 14 villages. Planted eucalyptus are found in Dikome Balue. Identified tree species are: Chlorophora excelsa (Iroko), Pterocarpus soyauxii (padouk); Terminalia superb Engl.& Diels (Frake); Entandrophragma cylindricum Sprague (Sapelli),Piptadeniastrum africanum (Dabema), Lophira alata (Azobe),Distemonanthus benthamianus baill (Movingui), Baillonella toxisperma (Moabi), Nauclea diderrichii (Bilinga) found in the 14 villages,the greater stock is found at Dikome Balue Mbombe and Bosunga. There are also planted species like Eucalyptus at Dikome. Identified abundant and various medicinal plants include: Cola nitida (cola),Prunus africana (Prunus), Cantharelus spp (Mushrooms); Carica papaya (Pawpaw),Khaya anthoteca (mohagany).Non timber species: Raphia spp, Laccosperma spp (Rattan), All are found in the 14 villages but Dikome Balue, Bosunga, mbombe have the greatest quantity

FAUNA

Existing Mammals are: Chimpanzees, Monkeys, Porcupine, Deer, Duiker cutting grass,Hare etc they are found in abundance at Bosunga forests. Birds found are made of white-necked pigeon (Columba albinucha), of rare green-breasted bush-shrike (Malaconotus gladiator), of rare grey necked picathartes (Picathartesoreas), and other various birds are found mostly on Rumpi forest at Bosunga and Dikome. Reptiles and Amphibians found are Frogs, toads, lizards, chameleon,large frogs such as Conraua robusta and Trichobatrachus robustus are abundant at Dikome and Bosunga forests ,

PROTECTED AREA

It is constituated of Rumpi forest reserve, Sacred forests andvirgin forests. Rumpi forest reserve covers part of Bonji, Mekoma, Diboki and the greater part found at Bosunga. This reserve has a rich biodiversity with different economics trees like Sapelli, mahogany, iroko, Dabema, Doussie, paduck, frake, None timber products such as canes, bush onion, Njansang, bush mango, herbs and a verity of wildlife species such as elephants, gorillas, baboons, verities of monkeys, pukipines, bush pigs, and also a variety of birds. Sacred forest, The only one is found at Mofako.Tree species found in are Camwood, Sappelli, small leave, Iroko and medicinal plants.It covers about 1ha and has a high cultural value and human activities within that area are highly restricted. Virgin forest. The only exiting one is found in Difenda which Links Dikome, Ntoko, Mbombe and also share boundary in the East by Bakumba and Weme super.This forest is very rich in economic trees such as Azobe, Iroko, Moabi, Mahogany, Doussie, Sappelli, Black afara, Small leave, Bubinga, and Ebony there are also a good number of N.T.F.P. such as bush mango, bush onion, Njansang canes and herbs

MINIRAL RESOURCES

Available mines (figure 4: Mines) are: Black stones (basalt), Gneiss, Sand, Clay, Muscovite and Quartz. Abundant Black Stones (basalt) and Gneiss are found in the rivers, streams and throughout the villages of Dikome Balue, Ndonono, Ebode, Mofako, Betenge, Mekoma, Itende, Bona, Bonji, Diboko, Bosunga, Difenda, Mbombe. Abundant Sand is found in the rivers at Weme, Bosunga,Difenda and Mobmbe.Clay are found at Dikome and Bonji and precious stones. Abundant quantity of Muscovite, Quartz and sand are found at Bosunga

HISTORY AND PEOPLE OF THE COUNCIL (ORIGIN OF THE PEOPLE, POPULATION, ETHNIC GROUPS, RELIGIONS, MAIN ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES)

HISTORICAL PROFILE OF THE BALUE ETHNICS

Balue is the main ethnic within the municipality. It represents about 99.9% of the population of the municipality. Before the 2nd world war. Balue,Douala, Bakundu, Batenga, Ngolo, Mbonges ethnics were living together in the north and southern of Ndian division. But because of very difficult living conditions, Some ethnic (Batenga) became carnivorous, other (Ngolo) developed fighting and dominating spirit, the other ones (Balue, Douala and Bakundus) developed the culture of peace and dialogue.They did everything together. But because of different culture, they started separating from each other and inter tribal war accelerated this process.

Main activities carried out by these ethnics were hunting, fishing and farming (plantains, cocoyam, `enclocachia`..). Addition to that, Douala ethnic was more interested in music. They organized many music festivals and one of them ended on serious discussions, then on fight and war. So people were afraid and started migrating out.

Bakundu crossed the Mungo river, Batenga went as far they could also because of the trading activities, Douala who spoke the same language with Balue moved to the actual Douala. Ngolo did not migrate because of bad roads and fertile soil for agriculture activities. Balue moved up to a place called Ekombe Bonji, but the existing climate did not suite them, then they have to come back and settle where Dikome Balue is now. Some groups within them decided to migrate further and the elders did not agree. But they did not listen to them and left the village. The elders named them ``Argumentators`` or Difenda in the native language. Those groups who left the village went very far and created the Village called Difenda and continue their agriculture activities. The search of fertile land pushed them to funder other 14 villages within the municipality.

Balue ethnic is peaceful and hard working. It has a great sense of integration

HISTORY OF THE COUNCIL

Dikome Balue was created as a District by the Presidential Decree N° 92/187 of 01 Mai 1992.

Dikome Balue was created as a council by the Presidential Decree No 95/082 of April 24, 1995 and was operational only from 1997.

POPULATION

It is estimated at 30256 people

ETHNIC GROUPS AND INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS

There are five ethnics groups: Autochtones (Balue), Allogen (Baigi,Ngolo, Bakundu, Batibo).

Description of inter ethnic relations

×          Possibility of inter marriages,

×          Mutual support on agriculture, hunting and fishing activities,

×          Common assistance (materially, financially etc) in case of a bad or good news

×          Peaceful acceptance and respect of each other.

×          Participatory decision making for community services or works.

×          Participation on the administration of the village or quarters. Some allogens are chiefs of quarters

MAIN ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF THE MUNICIPALITY

AGRICULTURE

Main actors are farmers. It is the main activity practiced within the municipality. About 99% of the population are farmers. Shifting cultivation is the dominant agricultural system. Fire constitutes the main tool for clearing.

The main active cash crop produced in the municipality is Cocoa. The dominant varieties are Forastero, Criollo andTrinitario.Cacao production was estimated at 400 tones in 2006 according to Dikome Balue Mayor. Area of production include all the 14 village but Difanda, Betenge and Bonji constitute the place of the highest production. Potential other crash crops underexploited are Coffee and Green Tea. The main active food crops practiced in the municipality are cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta (Taro)), banana plantain, pepper and cassava. These speculations are not enough to satisfy the feeding need of the population. In many villages (Dikome Balue, Bosunga, Mbombe) for example, people don`t have three meals per day. According to the CDR, 34 CIGs and 17 Associations are engaged in agriculture and related activities. They have received a financial support of 96 277 500 CFA from the state and other NGOs for boosting their production.The main problem faced by farmers is their limited access to modern agricultural technics.The subdelegation of MINADER present within the municipality is having only one worker who is the subdelegate.

3.3.6.2/ LIVESTOCK

Main actors are breeders. It is still traditional and is mostly done for local consumption. According to the subdelegation of MINPIA of Dikome Balue, The municipality capacity is as follows: 870 goats (caprine); 380 Sheep (ovine); 3 Cattle; 790 local breed, 858 people practice local breeding. The production is inequally distributed within the 14 villages; but the greater area of production covers Difenda, Dikome, Mofako, Bonji. Two CIGs (BOBEMO REPRODEF) working to improve livestock production have already received financial support with the amount of 2 500 000 fcfa. Constraints within this activity within the municipality include: Limited grazing land and feeding for pigs and fowls, limited knowledge of breeders on breeding chain,proliferation of pests (worn, constipation…), inadequate breeding infrastructures (poor cases with muddy yard),absence of local market and bad roads. The subdelegation of MINEPIA which could mitigate some of these problems within the municipality is having only one worker who is the subdelegate. This sector is developing gradually.

FISHING

Main actors are fishermen. It is traditional and mostly for consumption. Technics used are: traditional ponds along Kombone river, pond (Dikome and Betenge), direct catching in the rivers with traditional materials (Baskets, traditional nets, hooks, baskets). Species caught are: Mudfish, Tilapia, Tadpoles, Frogs and Silures. They are found in Meme river and mosinji streams at EBOBE and BETENGE; Yoke River at WEME and streams of DIFENDA, DIKOME and MBOMBE. It is mostly done by women and the number of fishmen is estimated at least 600.Those species are endangered because there is no any fishing plan.

FOREST EXPLOITATION

The rate of illegal exploitation is high within the municipality. Collected tree species are: Iroko, Dabema, Bubinga.. Non timber forest products harvested are: Honey, woodfuel, mushroom, eggs of birds, canes, raphia, gums, leaves, fruits, flowers, barks and small animals. Medicinal plants collected are estimated at 15 species.they include Emien (Alstonia conjensia) used against fiever, Bosse clair (Guara cedrata) against malaria; Mohagany (acajou grand bassam) against typhoid, Dabema(Piptaenia africana for stimulating sex vitality, Prunus Africana against prostate; Cola nitida for stimulating the body,Almost everybody within the municipality has knowledge about plants that can be used to cure common diseases such as malaria, fever, headaches, diarrhea, colds etc.The commercialization of those medicinal is not well developed within the municipality. Because insustainable exploitation, these forest resources are in endangered in particular in the case of Bosunga, Dikome, Difenda, Mbombe, Bonji and Betenge

HUNTING/APICULTURE

About 350 people practice traditional hunting with simple technics (traps, guns, holes, poisoned arrows, dogs, heads lamps.). They kill all types of animals and birds including protected species (Chimpanzee, elephants, Monkeys) which satisfy their needs in meat and in culture (use of skins, tusks, tails of elephants or giraffes, teeth, feathers, horns..). Hunting activity isnot organized; but in each village, hunters mentioned that for safety reasons, they have trained themselves. Hunting activity is carried out by youth and men. About 80% of hunting products are for household consumption while the remaining 20% or less is marketed. Selling costs vary from 2000 to 5000 fcfa. Apiculture is not well developed because only few people practice by collecting honey from caves and trunks of trees. In sum, hunting and apiculture are made mostly for subsistence.

EXPLOITATION OF MINERALS (SAND, STONES, OTHER MINES)

Although the important stock of various mines (Muscovite of Bosunga, Clay of Dikome Balue, sand along rivers of Itende,Weme,Mbombe, Bosunga) within the municipality, black stones are the only exploited ones. The system of exploitation make of hammer and burning is very rudimentary

COMMERCE

-109 Petty traders exist within the municipality with a high concentration at Difenda, Mofako, betenge and Bonji. They sell shoes, drinks, telephone credits, various articles. The flux of money driven through this category of trade is very small because of bad roads which limit the mobility of traders and goods. Beside that, there is no any local existing market which can boost financial transactions. There is also no tax payer record. All this contributes to weaken the local economic and to drop the council tax revenue. It is recommended to open markets according to the following plan: (Figures 12: Proposed markets sites).

- Other big market opportunities include: Agribusiness (cocoa, tea, pepper, plantains, vegetables, coco yam, banana...), selling of traditional songs and culture shows, selling of NTFPs, sewing services, water repairs and building services. This flux in particular Cocoa transactions which drive millions of francs (example of the 400 tones produced in 2006) is ignored by the council. These transactions are highly observed at Difenda, Mofako, Bonji, Betenge,Ndonono etc.

TRANSPORT

There are neither toll gates nor formal transportation company within the municipality. The 14 existing villages are reached on foot because of the non existence of roads. Other factors include the bad nature of existing roads and numerous rivers, streams, spring, mud holes, shrunk nature of roads, hilly reliefs to cross on. The rainy season is the worst period to move within the municipality in particular from May to October. However, few motorbikes and some Toyota Hilux are used for transportation during the dry season. There is no motto park.

HANDICRAFT

127 people practicing handicraft have a very solid local skill. Various products fabricated are: mat, thatches, bags, cane chairs, baskets etc. Costs vary from 1000 to 2000 FCFA but this activity is not really exploited as income activity because of the lack of markets for exhibition and relevant tools, poor organization and lack of market information. Handicraft men and farmers have a serious conflict of natural resources. Farmers destroy the raw materials (canes, palms, liana..) that handicraft men used.Handicraft industry development within the municipality could contribute to the improvement of local economic because tourists could buy their products.