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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

IDABATO

 

 

  Mayor  NTIMIN Oliver AKAN 
Number of municipal councilors  25
Number of inhabitants  35,000
Date of creation  1996

 Location of the council

 

The council was created within the framework of Law number 77/203 of 19th June 1977 to setup councils and define their boundaries. In April 1995 a Presidential decree created Idabato municipality and clearly defined it as bordered to the north by Idabato, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean (Rio-Del-Rey) and to the west by Nigeria. The council became operational in February 1996 after the council elections and unfortunately the council has been operating out of the municipality because during the Bakassi crisis, the whole territory was occupied by Nigerian military and further more even up till now there exist high rate of insecurity perpetrated by militant groups and pirates.

 

The municipality is located around latitude 40 30’ 14.4” (4.5040) North and longitude 80 32’ 44.2” (8.54560) East with an average elevation of about 64m (210 feet). The council became operational in February 1996 with Idabato II as the head quarters. Few government services effectively operate in Idabato II and some others in Jabane II due to insecurity prevalent in the area perpetrated by militant groups and pirates. The municipality comprises of some 18 villages/communities, which are mostly fishing ports with native communities of Nigerian origin making the majority population. Kombo A’Munja and Jabane are the other biggest towns closest to Idabato.

 

Description of the biophysical environment

 

Idabato municipality has a distinct biophysical environment surrounded by an evergreen mangrove ecosystem with high variety of biodiversity such as birds and fish species. Accessibility to villages in the area is through the creeks or by high sea. Most of the villages are located at 0m-5m above sea level with many swampy critical points due to the nature of the sea (High waves and ocean currents). (See consolidated diagnosis report 3.1.2 for details on biophysical environments for Idabato)

 

Climate

 

Idabato and Bakassi as a whole has a prevailing equatorial climate with temperatures ranging from 20 to 31 degree Celsius. It is characterised by two distinct seasons: a long rainy season that lasts for 9 months, and three months of Dry season. February is warmest with an average temperature of 31.9 °C at noon.

 

Soils

 

The environmental Impact Assessment carried out by the Mount Cameroon Project (MCP) in 2000 shows that the main type of soil found in the area under review is composed of sandy and salty alluvium and is subject to seasonal flooding. This soil type is very good for agriculture especially tuber crops such as Cassava.

 

Relief

 

Idabato council is found at the extreme end of the Bakassi peninsular and its closeness to the Atlantic Ocean makes the council vulnerable to flooding, marshy areas and swamps areas from high sea tides. The relief of the council is characterised by lowlands in general. There are areas as low as -16m (bsl) and the most elevated 14m given an average altitude of -2m for the entire council area. The interruption of the sea to the east by Mount Cameroon makes the area rich in oil deposits. The vegetation of the council is characterised by mangroves, swamps, several Creeks and sand-spits that stretch from the rocky coast lines of Fako to the Ndian River Basin.

 

Hydrology

 

In terms of water resources, the council can only boast of its closeness to the ocean. One can hardly find any stream or rivers, only around the “ramification” creek that a stream is found. Local wells and poorly conceived boreholes cannot be realised in this area due to the shallowness of the water table. Some of the most prominent creeks are East Point, Serpentine Creek, Couchlon Creek, Ramification Creek, Argus Creek, Trojan Point, and North Channel.

 

History and People of the council (origin of the people, population, ethnic

 

groups, religions, main economic activities)

 

Size and structure of the population

 

Figures from the Bureau of Census and Population Studies indicate the population to be at three thousand four hundred and eighty-two (3,482) inhabitants of whom there are 2,031 men and 1,451 women. Current council documents however indicate the total inhabitants to be 35,000 inhabitants, while a household count relative to number of persons per household shows an estimated 92,000 inhabitants

 

Ethnic Groups and inter-ethnic relations

 

Findings showed that five indigenous ethnic groups make up the council area which are the Orons, Amotos, Batekas, Akwas, Massakas and the Achibongs and are further divided into three clans i.e. the Usaka edet, the Balondos and the other making a combination of part Banyang and part Efik. Non-indigenes have also settled in the area, the Efiks from neighbouring Nigeria; the Orocko, Bakossi, North westerners, Francophones all from Cameroon. Other settlers come from Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Ghana. These inhabitants/settlers engage in agriculture, fishing and other income generating activities including the civil service.

 

Religion

 

Christianity is the most prominent religion practiced in Idabato council area with a handful of Muslims population who are linked to the military (they are not permanently based in the area). Christianity is the predominant religion practiced by more than 90% of the population with various denominations i.e. Catholic, Apostolic, Full Gospel, Awarawara, Olumba Olumba etc. Mobility of the population

 

Idabato council is endowed with the kind of resources which if harnessed could improve on the living standards of the population and development of the council area. The council has been extremely vulnerable to migration within the country and even from without, especially Nigerians attracted by fishery resources. Migrations within the council reveal three main characteristics: migrations from rural to urban areas; migrations from urban to rural areas (few Cameroonians-10% and Nigerians-90%); and migrations from rural areas to other rural areas (rare cases). There is also movement out of the municipality (Rural Exodus) which is very evident and was caused by the instability witnessed in the area, high rate of insecurity and the absence of basic social amenities.

 

Basic socio economic infrastructure

 

The basic socio economic infrastructures of the municipality include; 12 Educational infrastructures (2 secondary and 10 primary schools), 3 health infrastructures (Kombo A’Munja I and II, and Ndo Location) the Idabato II health centres is till under construction) and some administrative structures in Idabato II such as Gendarmerie, DO’s Office, and a Forestry and Wildlife post in Jabane II.

 

It is worth noting that some administrative buildings expecting to host various sub-divisional services of the government are still under construction. Main economic activities include artisanal fishing, fish mongering, petty trading, firewood cutting, boat carving etc. Transportation in the maritime is very commercial with hand pulled canoes, speed boats and large sea engine boats. The council is also blessed with touristic attractions such as beaches, creeks, war zones, local fishing vessels, mangroves etc.