Lake Barombi Mbo, is a sparkler within the South West Region of Cameroon near Kumba. It is known to be the largest volcanic lake in the Region. Besides, Lake Barombi in location, nature and richness, habours a huge revenue generating potential to which much is still needed to step up its beauty, touristic attractiveness and viability.
Scientists put the length of the Lake at 2.15KM covering a surface area of 5Km square. It has an average depth of 69m and its deepest zone measures 111M.
The Lake is no just ordinary earthly mass, it possesses a rare richness of over 15 fish species. These species survive within the neighbourhood of 40m depth given that, it is the ceiling of the availability of Oxygen.
Aside this scientific and aquatic detail, Lake Barombi holds the importance of quenching the thirst of over 800.000 inhabitants in the city of Kumba. Though official population figures which municipal authorities have contested reads 150.000 inhabitants.
Overboard this glaring attributes which makes, Lake Barombi a rare blessing in Cameroon’s tourism wealth, on-the-spot investment to keep the Lake up to standard has been somewhat sluggish.
Investment on the banks of the Lake signifying that is remains a touristic attraction dates back to colonial days. The road leading to the Lake is near impassable especially during the raining season.
Incessant human activity such as farming, logging and hunting are among the dangers lurking on the once buoyant ecosystem of the Lake. Issues associated with pollution, disappearance of fish species among others have become recurrent within environmental and ecological discourse.
Insufficient Council investment
Signs of consciousness of its importance have been demonstrated at the level of the Kumba City Council, the Kumba I sub Divisional Council. These often end at the level of grading the road leading to the lake. Yet months after, the rains usually wash off the ground and the road returns to its bad state.
Tourism experts are pressuring government through competent ministerial departments to trigger investments that would turn the fortunes of Lake Barombi. Even at its sorry state, locals from Kumba and tourists from beyond Cameroon from time to time visit the Lake.
Under development, Spiritual Grievances
A few years back, a water disaster struck Kumba. The water in the Lake developed a strange odor and colour. Some inhabitants of Barombi Mbo village which the Lake is named attributed it to a sign of anger form the their ancestors. They claimed the gods were angry with government’s lack of interest in developing the village. Barombi Mbo has no motorable road. It lacks basic social amenities. Its main link to Kumba is through the Lake. Administrators appealed to the elders of the land, libation was done and Kumba was able to get clean water again.
Irrespective of the difficulties, Lake Barombi Mbo, remains naturally an exquisite touristic attraction on Cameroon’s tourism map worth visiting.