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

BUREAU NATIONAL :: National Office

KOMBO ITINDI

 

  Mayor     EDONDE Cornelius ETIM
Phone         +237  677  44   24  44
Number of municipal councilors : 25
Density  5 persons/km2
Number of inhabitants  4,782
Date of creation  1996

Description of the municipality

The South West Region:

The South West Province was created by decree no 72/349 of June 1972 with Buea as its administrative headquarters. The 1996 Constitution (Article 61) created the regional system in Cameroon thus the current appellation of South West Region. It covers a surface area of 24,910 km2 (representing about 5.2% of Cameroon). Climatic conditions can be primarily divided into maritime and mountain. There is a wide disparity in the population of 1,361,981 persons (source: SOWEDA, 2010) with varied occupations and resources. The population density is 55 inhabitants per km2. There are six (06) administrative divisions and 32 sub divisions which are simple extensions of the State and enjoy neither financial nor legal autonomy and are dependent on the central government for all decisions. The division (Ndian) and Kombo Itindi council which is the subject of this report are located within the South West Region.

Ndian Division:

Ndian division is one of six administrative units that constitute the South West Region with its headquarters in Mundemba. Ndian has a surface area of 6,165km2 (25% of the region). The population (17% urban and 83% rural) in 2010 was 118,465 comprising 63,065 women and 55,399 men (source: SOWEDA projections) representing a population density of about 22 inhabitants per km2. This is largely due to the inaccessibility and the unfertile soils. The division covers a very low and indented point of contact with the sea. It has an amphibious area dominated by mangroves and creeks which make it difficult to penetrate and cannot be accessed by land. The use of creeks and canals as means of transport is not regular. Numerous sandbanks render access to sea difficult and limit movement only through small boats. There is no drinking water during the dry season coupled with the lack of drugs, food, schools and administrative offices make life difficult. There is a lot of marine erosion going on in the delta zone of the Ndian River and if nothing is done to check it, localities such as Ngosso and Barracks will soon disappear.

Kombo Itindi Council:

The council was created within the framework of Law number 77/203 of 19 June 1977 to setup councils and define their boundaries. In April 1995 a Presidential decree created Kombo Itindi municipality and clearly defined it as bordered to the north by Mundemba, to the south by Idabato and Bamusso, to the east by Ekondo Titi and to the west by Isangele. The council became operational in February 1996. Figures from the Bureau of Census and Population Studies indicate the population at two thousand nine hundred and fifty eight (2.958) inhabitants of whom there are 1.830 men and 1.128 women. Current council documents however indicate the total inhabitants to be 4.780 inhabitants. The reasons advanced by council management for this disparity include threats of insecurity that limited the counting as census agents did not exhaust

coverage of Bakassi and settlers of Nigerian origin did not want to offer information. KIC has about five (05) inhabitants per km2 (source: South West Master Plan of MINEPAT/SOWEDA, 2004). The population is made up of tribes from Cameroon (Isangelle, Masaka, Oron, Bateka) and Nigeria (Obioio, Ijaw, Orong) who are mostly fishermen. 32 villages (most of them very small and uninhabited creeks) constitute the municipality with headquarters in Ngosso I. No government service effectively operates in Ngosso due to the insecurity prevalent in the area. All heads of Government Technical Services including the Divisional Officer, the treasurer, the forces of law and order, Inspector of Basic Education and Health Officers reside in Mundemba. The council operates a temporary office in Mundemba. Ngosso is simply a deserted village with little or no ongoing activity. On the contrary, Barracks which is the economic capital of the municipality has an effective resident population and a border market where fishing and general merchandise constitute the main commodities between traders and fishermen from Cameroon and Nigeria. Since becoming operational in February 1996, the council area has been administered by twelve (12) appointed Divisional Officers.

The Bakassi Commission and the Greentree Accord: KIC is one of five councils that constitute the Bakassi Peninsular which was fiercely contested through the use of arms and diplomacy by Cameroon and Nigeria during the period 1993 to 2006 when the Greentree Accord bringing peace and normalizing relations was signed. There is a Bakassi Commission lodged at level of the Prime Minister’s Office which spearheads all development projects within the peninsular. Among the several stipulations of the Greentree Acord, the GoC and by implication the KIC are committed to:

Not force Nigerian national (who constitute more than 90% of Kombo Itindi inhabitants) to leave the zone or change their nationality and respect their culture, language and beliefs.

Respect their rights to continue their agriculture and fishing activities.

Protect their property and their customary land rights.

Not levy in any discriminatory manner any taxes and other duties on Nigerian nationals. (KIC is not collecting any taxes until after 2013).

Take every necessary measure to protect Nigerian nationals from harassment and harm.

Description of the Biophysical Environment

Kombo Itindi municipality has a distinct biophysical environment surrounded by an evergreen mangrove ecosystem with high variety of biodiversity including birds and animal 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.

Climate

Kombo Itindi has distinct equatorial climatic conditions where Febrary is the hottest with an average temperature of 31.90C at midday while July is the coldest with an average temperature of 21.60C at night. September is the average month with the most of sun shine.The temperatures at night are cooler than during the day time. The wet season has an estimated rainfall of between 3,500 and 5000mm with the peak of rainfall around the month of August and the dry season is around the month of Febrary. This is characterized by dry winds that blow across the Sahara desert from the North East to a South Westerly direction. During this period, daily temperatures are high with a slight drop in the night.

Soils

Sandy soils composed of muddy deposits id commonly found within the municipality. This soil type is not good for agricultutre and is subject to flooding which justifies fishing as the main occupation of the inhabitants.

Relief

The Municipality has an undulating and a gentle relief with generally lowlands area. There are areas as low as 0m altitude at the sea level. The council has an average altitude of about 10m. Close to the Atlantic Ocean are the mangrove swamps, several creeks with white sand beaches that stretch to the Ndian River Basin.

Hydrology

The main water course in the council area is the sea including a few inland streams which are used for domestic activities and also periodically for drinking during the dry season.

History and people of the council

Ethnic Groups and inter-ethnic relations

About 95% of the inhabitants of Kombo Itindi municipality are of Nigerian ethnicity including the Ibiobios, Orons, Ijaws and less than 5% are of Cameroonian ethnicity including the Masakas and Batekas of Isangele. The entire population are fishermen who still co hablit with a high sense of mistrust as a result of the Bakassi war.

Religion

Proximity of the council to the Federal Republic of Nigeria has facilitated the influx of several New Christian Religious Movements including the Full Gospel Mission, the Apostolic and the Assembly of God who are the predominant religious institutions that are involved in evangelization within the municipality.

Mobility of the population

Migration into this part of the country is extremely low due to the highly risky nature of the area. The sea is rough and highly deserted creating a conducive environment for pirates who take

advantage of unsuspecting travellers who are mostly traders or fishermen. The presence of a border market in Barracks also accounts for some movemants of humans and cargo in and out of the municipality.

Size and structure of the population

Figures from the Bureau of Census and Population Studies indicate the total population of the Municipality stood at two thousand nine hundred and fifty eight (2.958) inhabitants of whom there are 1.830 men and 1.128 women. Current council documents however indicate the total inhabitants to be 4.782 inhabitants. The reasons advanced by council management for this disparity include threats of insecurity that limited the counting exercise as census agents did not exhaust coverage of Bakassi settlements where some settlers of Nigerian origin did not want to offer information. The municipality has an estimated five (05) inhabitants per km2 (source: South West Master Plan of MINEPAT/SOWEDA). The population is made up of tribes from Cameroon (Isangelle, Masako, Oron, Bateka) and Nigeria (Obioio, Ijaw, Orong) who are mostly fishermen. 32 villages (most of them very small and uninhabited creeks) constitute the municipality with headquarters in Ngosso I. Three of the 32 villages (New Jerusamlem, Suel and Authority) are uninhabited. There are very few government services operating in Ngosso due to the insecurity prevalent in the area.

Basic Socio – economic Infrastructure :

There is a Border Market in Barracks which seldom functions as most fishermen and women take their catch directly to Nigeria (which was planned to be daily). The municipality has no infrastructure that caters for socio-cultural meetings. There are a few drinking spots which are located only in Barracks (the commercial center of the municipality).