Dr. Crispin Swedi Bilombele

Community Partner

Protection, Restoration and Endangered Forest Ecosystems in the

Lake Tanganyika Basin

Case Study

Lake Tanganyika Geographical location: 3º21’-8º51’S / 04º-31º’-30º12’E

Area: 3,290,000 (approximately 1,502,200 ha in Congo)

Altitude: 773 m



Lake Tanganyika is 659 km long and has a maximum width of 85 km at parallel 5º55’S. It is the second deepest lake in the world (1470 m) and its waters are slightly brackish. It occupies the western arm of the Rift Valley and most of its western shore is made up of an extremely steep escarpment which, towards the south of the lake, sinks underwater until it reaches the maximum depth of 1470 m. just 4 km from the shore. The shores slope more gently underwater at the north and south ends of the lake, but even in these areas, the 100 m depth is less than 10 km from the edges. The northern end of the lake, bounded by mountains which exceed 3000 m, is fed by several large rivers as well as by numerous rivers of small importance which join the lake at various points of its banks in Zambia, in Tanzania, Burundi and Congo. The Ruzizi receives the waters of Lake Kivu, but it crosses the Panzi Falls before joining Lake Tanganyika so that the two lakes are perfectly isolated from each other in terms of fauna. A delta of considerable size has formed at the mouth of the Ruzizi at the northern end of Lake Tanganyika. The other major tributary of the lake is the Malagarasi, which drains a large swampy area located south of Lake Victoria. Lake Tanganyika is emptied by the Lukuga, whose beginning is at the center of the west shore of the lake and whose waters flow towards the Lualaba. Lake Tanganyika is permanently stratified with the depth of the thermocline varying each year and each season but generally being around 100-200 m deep. Unlike many other tropical lakes, there are rarely secondary thermoclines above the main one, although daily stratification of the first 5-10 meters under the immediate influence of the sun may occur (Hecky, 1991). This very superficial layer, including at the edge of the lake, can vary in temperature up to 3ºC over the course of a day (Capart, 1952; Coulter, 1968, according to Patterson et al., 1998).











The quality of habitat in the coastal area of Lake Tanganyika mainly threatened by actions related to the intense deforestation and environmental mismanagement, the consequences of which affect the loss of terrestrial vegetation and sedimentation, as well as an increase in pollution on Lake Tanganyika. Indeed, taking into account the close links between the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the Lake Tanganyika basin, land degradation also affects the lake itself, yet the conservation of aquatic biodiversity cannot be achieved without the protection of terrestrial habitats. Specifically, the Lake Tanganyika Basin receives water from tributary rivers which cause a lot of sediment on this lake. North of Lake Tanganyika is the Ruzizi river reverse which extends into part of the Ruzizi plain (DRC) and another part of Burundi which includes a delta with emerging macrophyte habitats. The Ruzizi River is home to several non-cichlid fish species, some of which are area, as well as crocodiles and hippos. As a wetland, the Ruzizi delta also provides vital habitat for a wide variety of migratory and non-migratory birds, it is therefore recognized as a site of conservation and management of Lake biodiversity. Although it is the most diverse in the terms of aquatic species in the region, this lake has some of the richest sites for aquatic species, nature reserves and waterparks that require protection in the context of biodiversity. For the interest of the project, the involvement of the local communities bordering the Lake is justified through capacity training and awareness and environmental rehabilitation. The project will present various successful case studies of women's involvement in maintaining the eco-system.


The availability and mobilization of resources for capacity building for management and environment caused by the demographic powder magazine, to the understanding of the problems thus identified and to the environmental education of the local and riparian populations living around the Lake Tanganyika basin whose purpose must necessarily be grafted onto a practical dimension. A well - understood environmental education geared to the issue of a mutually beneficial balance between the environment and the population should be developed among local people in the context of understanding the socio-economic problems properly induced by one or other and the ability to contribute to their resolution on the other hand. Man is a living species among others, he does in every part his ethical and cultural diversity. With the industrial revolution, we have increased the negative impact on the environment and the more frightening pollution. The more we are aware of its impact on development, the man destroys and then modifies nature and needs time to regenerate. On our reduced planet, there are multitudes of colors such as relief; landscapes, the extreme variety of these environments allow multitudes of species to develop, while some of the species continue to live and others have disappeared. The consequences are dramatic, in the long run, it is the future of the man who is threatened. Environmental education will consist of mobilizing all the capacities of initiatives and creativities, whether individual or collective, for national and sustainable management of available resources. How can the soil be exploited to produce more without the batteries that contribute to its fertilization being destroyed? How to manage our forests so that they benefit more people and future generations than a minority of the rich?



The majority of local communities often lack knowledge of disease contamination and environmental pollution, which contribute towards health risks. The technological solutions are also lacking for the handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of chemicals and industrial enterprises, for their part, bear an enormous responsibility for the environmentally unsound management of hazardous wastes to the local communities. Indeed, for good public health ( nutrition) of local populations, it will be necessary to take into account the following elements such as the improvement of productivity, nutritional value and useful life of food and feed products, protection of populations against the main endemic diseases, a great effort should be made on the awareness-raising and information actions in the accomplishment of the objectives of the project of which the members of the local structure or not, are called to take part, as well as the participation of the local populations, in particular, women, young people in waste management programs in necessary to contribute to the protection of the environment in a sustainable way. Good methods and techniques in environmental protection and in particular; adopting new production processes based on optimal use of natural resources (energy, recovery, reduction of waste production), with emphasis on biological soil and water sanitation, waste treatment, reforestation). Strengthening technical capacities at local and regional levels to accelerate the development and application of biotechnologies, giving them an important place in the construction of sustainable development. Assessment of the agricultural potential of especially marginal land, and their direct consequences on the health of the population.

For further information, presentation or discussion about the investment opportunities in the Protection, Restoration and endangered forest ecosystems in the Lake Tanganyika Basin please join our investment forum.



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