“Bonamuang port”, the Hidden Port

Many people know of the Douala main port and to a lesser extent the Youpwe Port because of fish. But there is a little port up the Wouri, around Akwa-Nord, after the Ewodi market, known a Bonamuang. It is little in size but in importance as it is the live line for over twenty Ewodi and Aboh villages of the Wouri Bwele, Wouri Basoua and Bodiman cantons, and the main land Douala. It also serves areas like Yabassi which are accessible by road but land locked during the rainy season. Among the Canton Bwele villages are Bonepea, Boneko, Bonjo, Mantimbelembe, Bonamengue, Malamboa, Bonindi, Bwene and Nono. Under Canton Wouri Bosoua are villages like Bonanjoa, Bosua ba Mbengue, Dene, Bona a Mbassi, Bonalambo, Bonamakita. Canton Bodiman comprises Madimba, Bonagang, Bonanyamsi, Bonasongala, Bwene, Bodima, Bona so Mbengue, Bwamba, Bonatam, Bonandjeng and Bona Pende which all use this port for supplies.

Activities are regulated such that there are two periodic markets a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. People especially ‘Buyam-sellams’ leave Douala for the villages on Mondays and Thursday and return on Tuesdays and Fridays in preparation for the market the next day. The transport fare ranges from 1000 to 2500Fcfa depending on the distance. However the transportation of cargo seems to be more lucrative as according to Nkongo Germain Liberté, a boat pilot can make about a hundred or two hundred thousand francs a week. The villagers come along with fish, plantains, and other farm produce for sale and return buy essential commodities like soap, oil, maggi cubes etc or other supplies likes building material; zinc, cement, nails, iron etc. there is also a flourishing timber business along the river which dates back since the days of the Germans with people supplying planks to Douala.

Besides the port is a mining activity of no little importance with young men removing sand which is used in the construction of houses in Douala. The trade is organised such that canoe owner rents his canoe to a young man who does the diving into water to fetch the sand or at times does a job and is paid per canoe-load of sand. The road to the port is busy with truckloads of sand moving up and down the hill.

Owing to the busy nature of the port, a small recreational centre has developed around the port with women selling various food items to feed the miners and transporters. There is equally a small fishing activity but not to the magnitude of Youpwe. Youpwe has an opening to the sea and therefore has seas fish whereas Bonamuang port has access only to the Wouri River and therefore offer soft water fish. People visit the area either to eat fish or bush meat pepper-soup with the game coming from the villages. The Bonamuang Port is not only a place for business or leisure, it is also a place of choice for Christians and mystics alike. Christians carry out baptism on the river whereas at night, mystics carry incantations on the river. In a nutshell, the Bonamuang Port is busy both during the day and at night. Owing to the importance of the port, the Yabassi council is envisaging training the boat pilots and make live vest available for passengers to curb accidents and loss of life.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *