Wum: A city in search of modernity

Wum is the chief town of the department of Menchum and the district of the same name, in the area of the North-West. The populations are primarily Grassfields Bantu (anglo-bamilk), and speak six national languages (Model, Mukuru, Okoromandjang, Befang, Bangui, Obang) specific to this department. One does not find there also a community of the Bororo nomads which ended up being turned into a sedentary population at the point to form an autonomous village on the slopes of the mountains where they are delivered to the agriculture and the breeding of the cows. One recognizes them by their fine face, their clearer dye and their slender morphology.

The department of Menchun and its Wum chief town were made famous for the catastrophe of the lake Nyos of its true name lake Lwi, become popular under the name of lake Nyos, Nyos being the name of the village close to the lake, located at 40 km of the town of Wum. This catastrophe which has occurred on August 21st, 1986, following a carbon dioxide escape released from water of the lake on a diameter of one kilometer asphyxiated the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, taking stock of 1746 dead, leaving the quasi intact landscape. Since then, Cameroun undertook an operation of declassification. What makes a place of pilgrimage of it that the autochtones propose to any foreign person systematically, better a tourist destination than Cameroun sells after a fashion.
The lake Nyos is a natural stopping of volcanic rocks where is retained a water pond. It is with 1.200m of altitude, on the side of the Oku Mount, along the Cameronian of the inactive volcanoes, long belt of 1.400km and where the Mount Cameroun (4 095m) remains the only active volcano of this chain. To reach Wum, the Boxing ring road should obviously be borrowed. The Boxing ring road is a practicable road by the left until Wum and the right-hand side until Nkamb. Currently it is a broken ring since the absence of a bridge between Weh and Nkambe transforms the way into a true rodeo where it is necessary to put a minimum of 3 to 4 days with a vehicle 4×4 to connect Nkambe to Wum. However it is the inevitable passage to traverse the loop Bamenda – Wum – Kumbo – Nkambe – Bamenda that one calls Ring road affectionately. And that the populations dream to see bituminized. The prefect of Menchum, Mamoudou Haman, advertisement as the great project which the government will carry out in this area in the months to come. The project was adopted, the released budget, it does not remain more which has to allot it so that work starts.

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