Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kort Mangoh’s Legacy as Mayor of Nkambe 1996-2013 (Tribute)

By Fai Cassian Ndi

Nkambe Council Chamber
“My dream is to make Nkambe to have a look that is similar to  Washington or Nairobi and my vision is that Nkambe should be a green city” Mangoh Jones Tanko once told the population of Nkambe during his Public Hearing. 
Since great men do great things; Kort Mangoh Jones would be remembered from the numerous legacies he left behind in the Nkambe council area. Thousands of students he taught will always remember him. The villages that benefitted from his development agenda will do same. Kort Mangoh had a very soft spot for development and he did it with a lot of dexterity. In giving Nkambe its rightful position as the Divisional headquarters of Donga Mantung Division, Mangoh constructed a grandstand estimated at about FCFA 35.000.000, the best ever realized by a local council in the Region. The construction of the Nkambe Council town hall worth over FCFA 350.000.000 is one of the biggest ever in the North West after Kumbo. A master plan he developed for Nkambe town is also one of those giant projects whose fall out will spillover for years. “What people do not know is that Nkambe town begins from Binshua to Ntumbe, Moh, Njema, Njimpto and Kungi. That is how he obtained FCFA 61.000.000 to map out the council new layout. The opening of streets actually going on in Nkambe is the fallout of that Master plan which is financed by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. In all, the Nkambe council is expected to benefit at least FCFA 500.000.000 from this ministry to develop roads network in the town. 
Improving Access to Education
Nkambe Council chamber
Being a teacher, Kort Mangoh knew that development is best acquired by building the weak human resource base. After offering 400 scholarships to children, he thought of a more sustainable way which was to recruit teachers. He recruited the first set of 76 teachers and after a year, government absorbed almost all of them and shared to schools in Nkambe and the entire Division. He did not end there, he moved to the recruitment of a second set who taught under council payroll for two more years before some were absorbed. 
With the problem of staffing already solved, he embarked on providing schools that had no classroom and were operating in borrowed premises infrastructure. The school without classroom program in 2010 provided five schools with a befitting block of two classrooms each, head teachers’ offices, a store and pit toilet. The first beneficiaries were GS Saah, GS Mayo-Binka, GS Mbirboh, GS Bih and GS Mantu. From 1996 to 2013, Kort Mangoh constructed over 46 classrooms in his municipality with funding from FEICOM, GP DERUDEP and PNDP. The emergency rescue programme of the Nkambe council which he also initiated for schools was geared towards assisting schools that have suffered from disasters also created its impact. Over 18 schools received two bundles of zinc each while 13 others benefitted from a bundle of zinc each. For example CBC School Nkambe-wind disaster, PSS Nkambe-fire disaster, GS Ntali- winds disaster etc. FROM 1996-2013 about 8 thousand benches were shared to schools. 
Improving Access to Water
Since water they say is life, Mangoh Jones Tanko spared no efforts to make sure that the fears linked to water borne diseases were eradicated. By the time, Mangoh was leaving office, statistics show that access to potable water stood at about 85%. Old water schemes were rehabilitated and management committees setup and trained while new ones were established. Some of the schemes included the rehabilitation of the Tabenken water scheme, the construction of Chup/Bongom water scheme, the extension of Mbot water scheme, the construction of Mbijah water scheme etc etc. At the time water scarcity hit Nkambe town due to the poor management of wetlands and watersheds, with the support of Shumas, 50.000 water friendly trees were planted in watersheds and 20.000 others from the council nursery. Through the support of the Ministry of Forestry and Fauna, 5000 trees were planted in watersheds. Mangoh launched the eucalyptus project to fight water scarcity in Nkambe. His dream to establish a 700 million water giant scheme in Nkambe town may not have reached its logical end but the studies had been done. 
Development of Farms to Market Roads
Mangoh had always been apt to tell the population that the development of farms to market roads is the priority of the council but not far above water. From 1996-2013, about 845 km of eart roads were opened. Some of the roads that could be remembered are: Nkmabe-Ngie-Bongom-Lassin road, Binshua-Bih-Sah road, Wat-Chup-Mbabi-River Mbi road, Chup-Tuku-Tabenken road, Wat-Mbanka, Wat-Wanti-Mbaa road, Saah-Binjeng-Binka road, Binka-Mbomansu road, Nkambe-Moh road, Nkambe-Nimpto etc etc…
Development of Social Infrastructure
Mangoh Jones Tanko would be remembered for the construction of the Nkambe council chamber, the Nkambe grandstand, the Nkambe municipal complex, the rehabilitation of the Nkambe Rest House, the rehabilitation of the Nkambe community hall, the setting up of the Nkambe council cyber space, the construction of meat slaughter houses in Nkambe town, Binka, and the construction of meat sales slabs in the municipality. Mangoh established the Donga Mantung Community radio and others developmental projects. 
Mangoh- The Distinct Icon 
Mangoh Jones stands tall as one of the exemplary leader Cameroon has ever had. Both in the media and traditional side. Mangoh Jones was voted by Readers of The Eye Newspaper as the Best Mayor of the Year in 2013, in 2012 and 2013; Kort Mangoh was also rated by CHAMECC Communication Consul as the Best Mayor of Donga Mantung Division. In 2008, he was voted and honoured by Donga Mantung Association of Journalists-DOMAJ. At the traditional level Kort Mangoh got his first traditional title from the fon of Mbunti-in Ndu (Ta Nformi Mbunti) before he was conferred (Ta Nformi Nwaah) by the people of Tabenken.  
Kort Mangoh Jones would be remembered as one of the founding fathers of the Wimbum Student Union-WISU. He died as the patron of the student association. On the other side, he was the President of the Wimbum Literary Association-WILA, Vice National President of Warr Cultural and Development Association-WACUDA and an executive of the Wimbum Cultural ad Development Association-WICUDA.

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