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Human Settlement Dynamics in the Bamenda III Municipality, North West Region, Cameroon

Lawrence Akei MBANGA1
1 The University of Bamenda, Faculty of Arts, Department of Geography and Planning, Bamenda, CAMEROON
Pages: 47-58

Abstract. Every human settlement, from its occupation by a pioneer population continues to undergo a process of dynamism which is the result of socio economic and dynamic factors operating at the local, national and global levels.  The urban metabolism model shows clearly that human settlements are the quality outputs of the transformation of inputs by an urban area through a metabolic process. This study seeks to bring to focus the drivers of human settlement dynamics in Bamenda 3, the manifestation of the dynamics and the functional evolution. The study made used of secondary data and information from published and unpublished sources. Landsat images of 1989, 1999 and 2015 were used to analyze dynamics in human settlement. Field survey was carried out. The results show multiple drivers of human settlement dynamism associated with population growth. Human settlement dynamics from 1989, 1999 and 2015 show an evolution in surface area with that of other uses like agriculture reducing. Multiple functions and network infrastructure evolve with human settlement. In the Bamenda 3 municipality, the dynamics of human settlements was slow but constant up to the year 2007. In 2007, the Bamenda III municipality was created.  It serves as a gateway to the administrative divisions of Boyo, Ngoketunjia, Bui and Donga Mantung and an important transit for passengers and goods to and from the North West Region. It is crossed by a major road and has several education establishments. It attracts every population age group and of various professions such as students and other stakeholders. Farmland is gradually reducing since 1989, transformed continuously into human settlements.  This expansion is more of the informal due to a weak implementation of legislation and a weak control mechanism. There is need for a strict control mechanism to reduce informal settlements.

K e y w o r d s:  human settlements, dynamics, sustainability, Bamenda III, Cameroon