WELCOME TO NKAMBE SUB-DIVISION
Nkambe central sub-division is the one of the five sub-divisions that make up the Great Donga-Mantung Division. It serves as the administrative headquarters of the Great Donga-Mantung Division.
According to a March 2, 2015 article titled “Donga Mantung Division: How History Works in Strange Ways” and published by The Eye Newspaper, the Nkambe Central Sub Division with accompanying council was created in 1992 and went effective in 1996 along with the other four councils of the Division. Administratively, the villages that make up the Nkambe Central (council area) are Kungi, Konchep, Binshua, Bih, Saah, Wat, Nwangri, Kup, Chup, Mbot, Nkambe, Bongom, Tabenken, Njap and
Binka. Historically, the original Nkambe people left Northern Cameroon in the 16th century and moved southward due to the constant raids by Usman Dan Fodio in an attempt to convert the people to Islam and due to water crisis. Under the group known as the Tikars (Tikari) they first settled at Ntem, later moved to Kimi forming the present day Wimbum tribe. The quest for power and a need for purification led to their spreading in the municipality in three clans-Tang, Warr and Wiya. The villages in the municipality can then trace their origin to one of the clans. The people speak the same language, Limbum. Per the 2005 population census, the population of
Nkambe Central stands at 63, 032 and the growth rate is at 4.86%.
Most of the people in Nkambe Central council area are Wimbum – the three clans which speak the Limbum language. Nkambe Central contains the northwest part of Wimbum-land, including the villages of Kungi, Konchep, Binshua, Bih, Saah, Wat, Nwangri, Mbaa, Kup, Chup, Bongom, Mbot, Tabenken, Njap, Binka, Binjeng, and Nkambe-town Ndu Commune contains the southeast part of Wimbum-land. Most Wimbum are farmers, raising maize, beans, njama–njama, Irish potatoes, cocoyams, plantains, bananas, etc. Scattered Fulani also live in the district, grazing cattle on the grasslands. The population of Nkambe Central was estimated around 170,000 in 2011. Nkambe-town, long an administrative center, has attracted a more cosmopolitan mix than the surrounding villages, including Hausa traders, students from around Donga-Mantung, and civil servants from other parts of Cameroon. Source: WIKIPEDIA
The Wimbum probably arrived in this area between the 1700s and the mid-1800s. In the 1800s the Nkambe area saw some trade in elephant ivory, but the area was bypassed by the major long-distance trade routes north through Fonfuka and east through Ntem. Lack of economic power and lack of unified leadership
German administration of the Grassfields began around 1901. Fulani herders began to arrive in the area around 1910. Britain took over in 1916 and in 1922 re-instituted some native law under the policy of indirect rule. In 1949 Nkambe-town became the head of one of the three administrative units in Bamenda Province, alongside Bamenda and Wum. Nkambe-town’s administrative role has continued since independence in 1961. Source: WIKIPEDIA
As mentioned above, Nkambe lies in the Bamenda Grassfields, in the chain of highlands that runs from São Tomé up into Nigeria. The land varies from cool grassy highlands like the 2200m Mount Binka to lower, warmer places like Chup at 1500m. Parts of Nkambe commune lie in the Cameroonian Highlands forests eco-region. Bird species include the Western green tinkerbird, the Yellow-spotted barbet, the Cameroon greenbul, the Yellow-breasted boubou, the African hill babbler, the Green longtail, the Fernando Po Oliveback, Bannerman’s weaver, and perhaps Bannerman’s turaco. Source: WIKIPEDIA
Forrest & Fauna
Pockets of montane and submontane forests abound in the subdivision. They occupy some plains, slopes and riverbanks. None of the forests have been protected. The Njising – a site comprising a small stand of submontane and montane forest mostly between 1800m and 2200m of altitude, descends to Tabenken village at 1600m, is the largest in the region. Their unprotected status gives room for heavy exploitation for timber, fuel wood, agriculture and medicinal purposes. However, some of the forests remain in tact because some are sacred forests; hence conserved traditionally as village shrines. Details of the area of these forests are found in the annex of this report.
In these forests, the afrotropical highland biome species of birds like Bannerman’s Turaco, Western Green Tinker bird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Cameroon Greenbul, Yellow breasted Boubou, African hill babbler, Green Longtail, Fernando Po Oliveback, Bannerman’s weaver, etc, are well represented.
The flora of this region is typically montane type with eminent species such as Croton macrostachyus, podocarpus, latifolius, polyscias fluva, Albizia gummifera, Schefflera abyssinica, Mahogany, Enthandrophragm, cylindrium, Piptadeniostrium Africana, Canariumschiven and Prunus africana. Some economic species of plants are found in some of the forests like kolanut and eucalpyptus.
Among the fauna species we have reptiles of various types, monkeys, hedgehogs and antelopes.
The inhabitants are of diverse religious backgrounds that can be broadly categorized into 3 groups – Christians, Muslims and Traditionalists. Various religious denominations have been involved in development through the establishment of schools and health institutions and in some cases have negotiated for the construction of roads, bridges and water points or supplies in some of the villages. The different religious bodies found within the council area are Christianity (Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Apostolic, Full Gospel, Pentecostal); Muslim; and Traditional.
The original Nkambe people left Northern Cameroon in the 16th century and moved southwards due to constant raids by Usman Dan Fodio in in his attempts to convert people to Islam; they also moved due to water crisis. Under a group known as the Tikars, they left North Cameroon and settled first in the Ntem Valley. Later, they moved to Kimi and further moved southward to a place known as Mbirboh in Mbot Village – a place within the council area, thus forming the Wimbum tribe.
The quest for power, land, water and a need for purification led to their spreading throughout the municipality in three clans – Tang, Warr and Wiya. The different villages within the council area can thus trace their origin to one of these three clans. However, today movements within the municipality have been influenced by factors other than the above mentioned. Generally, the pattern of migration in
most parts of Cameroon is rural – urban. Nkambe town has developed into a small urban area with several educational, administrative, financial and private institutions constituting a pull factor. The presence of a growing civil service and private entrepreneurs has provided avenues for employment, thus pulling people into the area. In the recent past, the location of the military unit has also helped to pull people from other regions to Nkambe.
Nkambe Municipality comprises people who are of one ethnic group – the Tikari tribe. They all form a tribe known as the Wimbum. The tribe makes 94.50% of the population of the Council area.
The municipality, however, hosts people from other tribes such as the Moslems, Hausas, Fulanis, and a diverse people from various parts of the country.
The main conflicts existing in the area are farmer/grazer problems, boundary and chieftaincy problems. The consequences of these conflicts are that they retard development and progress in the villages.
Farmer/grazer problems are rampant and in most villages. Some of the conflicts in some villages have led to full-scale destructions. Some persons were even described as very bad persons due to the destruction caused by their cattle on crops. With the intervention of MBOSCUDA and other NGO’s as conflict mediators, some of the problems are being handled with care.
The main chiefdoms of Nkambe Council are Kungi, Konchep, Binshua, Bih, Saah, Wat, Nwangri, Mbaa, Kup, Chup, Bongom, Mbot Village, Tabenken, Njap, Binka, and Binjeng.
Several villages and localities are attached to them. The full list is found in the Annex.
These are social organizations or structures to facilitate the living together of the people and to uphold their societal values. As such two types of strata can be identified in Nkambe, the traditional and the political or government administrative structure.
The traditional structure consists of a system of living together or managing the indigenes as inherited from generations; this flow from the clans down to the village set up. The traditional administration with the Wimbums has quite some similarities but for the appellations of fai and shufai – fai kuh in Mbot and fai in Bih/Saah, while it is absent in Binka. There is also the Ngiri whose position does not feature same in all the village hierarchy.
Subsistence agriculture has been the mainstay of the population over the years. About 98% of the population of Nkambe municipality practise agriculture. Crops cultivated are corn, beans, cocoyams, yams, etc. the dry season farming starts in October and covers a period of about three months. Mostly legumes are cultivated – beans, vegetable, Irish potatoes.
The agricultural sector of this area is plagued with a number of problems. These involve: soil infertility, bush burning which creep into farm-lands, stray animals that destroy crops, lack of farm inputs and equipment, inadequate farmland, lack of farm-to-market roads, inadequate market for products, etc.
Nkambe Council has a wide potential for grazing, with vast land of savanna vegetation. Nkambe ranks amongst the highest producers of various livestock species. Thus the population of livestock in the municipality is quite appreciable. This appreciable situation is however compounded by the existence of farmer/grazer conflicts which are many in the Council area.
The Fulanis and natives carry out livestock keeping. Transhumance is mainly to the Ako and Misaje Subdivisions due to inadequate transhumance sites in the municipality.
Traditional livestock keeping is widely practiced by all producers. The need to promote improved livestock keeping is a potential that needs to be exploited by the grazers.
Trading in this area follows the conventional approach of exchanging what the population produces like beans, corn, potatoes, plantains and bananas, with what they do not produce and are in need of, for example, mats, groundnuts, egusi, palm oil, clay pots and kernel. As such they trade with their immediate neighbours, who are the other villages in Nkambe area and beyond.
The trading across the borders is done on a low scale because it is mostly by head loading, though it can be increased since they are nearer Nigeria and there are seasonal roads that link the two areas.