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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

ISANAGELE

 

   Mayor  Caroline OFFIONG USIM
Number of municipal councilors  22
Surface Area  765km2
Density  6.53 persons/km2
Number of inhabitants  5000
Date of creation  29/06/77

Location of the council

The ISANGELE Council is located in the South West Region of Cameroon in the Ndian Division with boundaries as follows

Mundemba council to the North East; Nigeria to the North and North West; Kombo Itindi to the East; Kombo Abedimo to the South

It lies roughly in the East between 8.30o and 8.55o. and in the North between 4.3 and 4.52 degrees.

Description of the biophysical environment

Climate

Generally of the equatorial type with two main seasons; a short dry season of about four months [November to February] and a long rainy season [March to October] and is purely a maritime type, wet most of the seasons with an average temperature of 25oc to 35oc. The rainfall is generally heavy and ranges between 7,000 mm and 12,00 mm fairly evenly distributed within 8 months. The relative humidity consequently is very high above 75%. The short dry and long rainy season, high temperatures, high rainfall, high relative humidity suitable for diverse agriculture.

Soils

Sandy and clay soils are clay and sandy making them acid soils which are very suitable for farming especially the cultivation of cassava, egusi, maize, cocoa, pineapples, yams currently being practised. Oil palms and Rubber can also be cultivated here. However there is severe erosion due to the intense rainfall. The roads easily deteriorate with the effect that ISANGELE Mundemba road is impassible during the rainy season leaving the only option of the irregular, risky and costly maritime transport.

These soil types pose very serious problems for the construction of ordinary wells and latrines as well as roads and paths. The heavy rains over a long period in the year favour the caving in of wells and pit latrines and severe erosion of roads and land. On the other hand these soil types, the high humidity, the high temperature and high rainfall are suitable for commercial agriculture and cultivation of cassava, plantains, banana, yams, maize, egusi, pineapple, pawpaw, pepper, vegetables and many other food crops. ISANGELE lands are also suitable for the cultivation of cash crops such as cocoa, palms and rubber.

Relief

Hills, steep slopes, deep valleys, low lands, rugged and undulating surfaces. The dominant physical feature of the municipality is virgin forest with large mangroves. Islands (creeks) covering an area of about 765km2. the vegetation is mixed with secondary and virgin forest. Vegetation cover of the area is dominated by Palm trees, thick forest, swampy area and mangroves which serve as wood for the smoking of fish and timber for local construction of houses.

Water Resources

Several small streams and rivers some all year round and others dry up in the dry season. Navigable all year round. Huge abode for variety of fishes. Plentiful and can be developed into ports. There are numerous sources of water ranging from creeks, springs, streams and rivers. However a majority of these are seasonal and heavily contaminated.

Flora and Vegetation

Fauna

The lowland forests are home to several types of primates especially the monkeys and also elephants. There are also the bush pigs, porcupine, cutting grass, birds of assorted types including the parrot.

Protected Areas

There are village traditional protected sites for cultural activities. No gazette forests. No parks or reserves.

Sensitive zones

There are several swampy areas found here and there in the human settlement area and the coastal lowland areas.

Mineral Resources

There are huge quantities of sand, but no report of the presence of minerals such as gold, bauxite or iron ore.

History and People of the council (origin of the people, population, ethnic groups, religions, main economic activities)

History of the Council

ISANGELE council was created by a presidential Decree No77/203 of 29th June, 1977. ISANGELE is one of the Sub-Divisions that make up Ndian Division. It is situated 56km from Mundemba, the Divisional Headquarters. The council is bounded by the following : North by Mundemba council, South by Kombo Itindi council, West by Mangroves forest and the Atlantic Ocean, East by Ekondo Titi and Bamusso council areas. It is characterized by a number of very low-lying coastal ecosystems. It is a sea route to Nigeria. Administratively, ISANGELE is one of the seven sub divisions in the area including ISANGELE, Kombo Itindi, Idabato, Bamuso, and parts of Ekondo Titi. ISANGELE has about 5000 inhabitants and has a surface area of 765 km2 and it is 2nd class chiefdom with 1 second class chief at Oron.

ISANGELE is the parent council of the Bakassi peninsular. The other three councils; ISANGELE, Kombo Itindi and Idabato were offshoots of ISANGELE Council.

It has 22 villages namely: Oron, Issobo, Amoto, Bateka, Manaka, Atinok, Ekumamiendo, Dibonrikpa, Tinkoro, Okonama,Ofagah,Iyamusong, Corrido I&II, Rio-del Rey, Owaikon I, Owaikon II, Ekandem, Obot Ikot, Efekyayang, Eteng Atire, Ankang and Obah-Onond. Four of these villages are on mainland, while the others are maritime.

The Demography

Population Size and Structure

According to the census figures of 2010, the population is as shown in the Table. The local authorities often state the population of ISANGELE to be 5,000 inhabitants. There is concentration of the population in Oron, Bateka, Amoto and Massaca and Issobo. Oron is the Paramount Chiefdom. The other recognized chiefdoms are Bateka and Amoto. Many Nigerians live in the municipality especially in the fishing villages where in some cases make up to 100% the population. These populations are not integrated with the indigenous populations.The active farming population is estimated at 1695 [56%] and total surface under cultivation is about 4,000 ha [5.5%].

Ethnic Groups and Inter-Ethnic Relations

The dominant indigenous populations cohabit with other tribal groupings from Cameroon, Nigeria and other West African countries.

70% ISANGELE indigenes

12% Balondos,

8% Ibibios,

10% other Cameroonians.

Religious Congregations

There are several Christian denominational congregations and churches.

1. Apostolic

2. Catholic

3. Full Gospel

Population Mobility

To Nigeria

To Mundemba

To ISANGELE, Kombo Itindi

Kumba, Fako, Douala

Yaounde

Social Mobility

The ISANGELE populations are very mobile despite the several transport difficulties by sea and by land. Because of the extensive family lineage between the populations, destinations include other towns in the Bakassi peninsula, towns and villages in Ndian division and the South West Region, Douala and Yaounde and Nigeria.

Social Organizations

Traditional and cultural meetings

3 chiefdoms, Oron, Bateka and Amoto. Oron is a 2nd Class chiefdom

Habitat and Environment

There are several mainland communities such as Oron, Bateka, Amoto, Unwaikori 1 the majority are maritime and islands.

Cosmopolitan ISANGELE is in the mainland with a very rich maritime coast full of creeks, beaches, islands and mangrove forests. The mainland communities are Oron, Bateka, Amoto and Unwaikori 1 with creeks and islands.

Zoning

ISANGELE urban space is linear and mainly of residential areas in the villages of Oron, Bateka, and Amoto. The administrative block is largely integrated into the residential. In Bateka There is neither a master plan nor an urban housing plan.

Housing system:

The houses are built of local materials. The housing system in Nguti is controlled by the council through its town planning services.

Economic Activities

Agriculture

Agriculture is the main activity but practiced with the traditional methods. It is replete with problems related to infrastructure, equipment, human and financial difficulties which are responsible for the low production and little potential for growth and employment.

Main problems include

1. Absence of a functional technical service

2. Ageing of farmers

3. Difficult access to land

4. Difficult access to inputs [seedlings, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and grains

5. Difficult access to modern agricultural techniques and tools

6.Difficult access to agricultural credit

7. Difficult access to support infrastructure such as storage facilities agric and phytosanitory products

8. Difficulty in marketing production, poor farm to market roads

9. Few CIGs and Cooperatives

Effects include

1. Low production and productivity

2. Low incomes and revenues

3. High cost of foodstuff

4. Unemployment

5. Low migration to ISANGELE

6. Low standards and quality of living

Sylviculture

The populations do not practice activities of this very important domain of tree farming.

Livestock and Fisheries

Domestic animals like goats, pigs and poultry are common but are mainly for family use. This situation may be explained by the cultural practices and low demand. The sector is characterized by difficult access to basic infrastructure, production and marketing means.

1. Absence of livestock farmers or groups [for pigs, sheep, poultry, goats, cows]

2. Absence of infrastructure to support production

3. Lack of Veterinary services for sanitation and veterinary controls

4. Absence of fishing infrastructure [buildings and equipment]

5. Absence of livestock markets

6. No water and electricity to Municipal cold store

8. No organized beach fish market days and butcher’s shops,

9. No dynamic business community

10. Lack of credit

Hunting

There are no authorized hunters. Traditional hunting is almost absent.

Forest Exploitation

There is no official and authorized forest exploiter in ISANGELE. The rate of illegal exploitation of the mangrove forest is alarming. The fishermen use timber for fish drying and building of their huts and houses in the creeks and islands. Timber is illegally exploited and sold inside and especially out of ISANGELE. It is reported that this illegal activity has been the cause of frequent armed aggressions reported in ISANGELE and environs. This activity may persist for long for

1. Absence of enforcement of law

2. Absence of council and community forests, reserves, sacred forests and sites

3. Absence of Forest Management Units

4. Absence of Forest and Wildlife technical services such as monitoring and control activities

NTFPs Harvesting

Illegal and destructive exploitation of the mangrove and forests and NFTPs

3. Insecure ecosystems

4. Loss of employment

5. Absence of wood industry

6. Difficult access to NFTPs

Arts and Crafts

The sector services are absent in ISANGELE. There are no established artisans in ISANGELE. This could be explained by the cultural practices.

Absence of craftsmen and entrepreneurs

Commerce

This sector is very weak. Most of the commercial activities are carried out in Nigeria. Even the newly constructed municipal market and cold store are not used.

Industry

There are no industries. Non productive and innovative exploitation of assets and natural resources

Services

No financial services like banks, MFE exist.

Other Economic Activities: Mangroves, creeks and water ways

The mangrove forest characterizes the vegetation and over 60% of ISANGELE is covered by the mangrove forest which is continually washed by creek waters from the ocean and numerous water sources.

There are also many natural resources of economic importance such as the creek waters which are excellent breeding grounds for fish. The mangrove also provides wood for building and fuel. The water ways are used for transportation. The numerous mangrove forests are good sites for touristic attractions. However because the economy of ISANGELE is rudimentary the numerous creeks and water ways are rather an impediment for easy transport and because of its nearness to Nigeria the mangrove forests and the huge fishing potentials are unsustainably exploited by foreigners to the benefit of Nigeria. There are no touristic, Posts and Tele communication, roads and scientific research and innovation