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Kumbo Water Crisis: Bui Under Military Siege 

By Andrew Nsoseka



After the Fon of Nso’s ultimatum to the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Buito demilitarise the Kumbo water installation, tempers flared over the weekend when the entire Bui Division was transformed into a military camp.

The Nso people, August 19 snubbed theSDO’s ban on public meetings, defied gun wielding police andthe heavy down pour to answer their Fon’s call on the water crisis.

Addressing his subjects, Sehm Mbinglo I said; “I am glad that not even the rain deterred you from honouring mysummon…we are in a month when Fonlon, a son of Nso who brought water to the people died.”

SehmMbingloregretted that“it is another son of Nso, who has taken our water and given to the Government… I have now been told that this water that we have been managing for over 40 years belongs to the Government…,”he said.

The Fon was categorical,“Kumbo water belongs to Nso people and will continue to be their property.

From this moment, all Nso people should buy pipes and install water in their houses, free of charge, and report to me accordingly. Those who have meters should remove all of them and bring them to me immediately,” Sehm Mbinglo instructed.

The Fon had earlier written to the SDO of Bui demanding that troops placed at the various water installations in Kumbo should be removed.

But when the Fon convened a meeting with his subjectson August 19, military trucks were dispatched to Kumbo to foil the meeting.

Irked by the heavy deployment of troops around his Palace, the Fon said; “I have done everything possible to find a peaceful solution to this water problem. Now that I have been described as stubborn, I won’t step out of this Palace to Tobin or travel to Bamenda again for any discussion on the water crisis. I will die in this Palace.”

“I hear the SDO says we should drink free water just for three months. I am saying that we shall drink free water for… Nsosons and daughters of goodwill like Fonlon would provide chemicals for us to treat the water. Let none of my subjects provoke the soldiers,”he cautioned.

The Fon said this is not the first time soldiers have been deployed toNso land because of the water problem,“so we should look at the soldiers from a distance. “We shall all decide the fate of our water. Nobody shall decide on our behalf. That’s all,” the Fon concluded.

War In The Social Media

The Kumbo water crisis has ignited a social media war among Nso indigenes in the diaspora.
While some are supporting the Mayor’s camp, others have backed the Fon, arguing that the already impoverished masses should not be coerced into buying a free gift of nature like water.

Shey Kaavi Wo Melim said there was a Council when the Kumbo Water Authority, KWA, was controlling the water.
According to him, “any bonafide Nso man or woman sees the Fondom first as representing them before the Council or any Government organ.”

As the debate rages on, some Nso Diasporas are now blaming the Fon for endorsing the CPDM.
According to them, the Fon is now reaping the fruits of his labour for supporting the Biya regime.

“When the Fon was supporting the SDF did you cry any foul?It would be a minute situation like this one that will kick start the war of independence, let the Frogs keep on toying with my Fon.”

Meanwhile, the on-going Kumbo water crisis and the deployment of armed militia is weeping up sentiments of the 1990 Ghost Town Operation across the Northwest Region. Many fear that the situation may degenerate if a solution is not sought.

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