Kalundu Port Remains Operational Amid Rising Lake Tanganyika Water Levels

Flooding in DRC's Kalundu port disrupts lives and infrastructure, highlighting climate change's impact. Despite challenges, the port remains operational, serving as a lifeline for affected communities.

author-image
Waqas Arain
Updated On
New Update
Kalundu Port Remains Operational Amid Rising Lake Tanganyika Water Levels

Kalundu Port Remains Operational Amid Rising Lake Tanganyika Water Levels

The Kalundu port in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to operate despite rising water levels in Lake Tanganyika that have led to widespread flooding in the surrounding areas. Since March 20, 2024, increased water levels have been observed in the lake, causing the Mulongwe, Kalimabenge, Kamvimvira, and Kabimba rivers to overflow in the city of Uvira, particularly impacting the Kalundu, Mulongwe, and Kavinvira communes.

The flooding has affected seven neighborhoods, destroying homes and agricultural lands. Residents have been forced to seek refuge in unaffected areas within the Kavinvira, Mulongwe, and Kalundu communes. A total of 6,861 households, comprising 34,358 individuals, have been displaced by the floodwaters. Of these, 6,530 households (32,594 individuals) are staying with host families, while 331 households (1,764 individuals) have taken shelter in collective centers.

More than 2,800 houses have been inundated, and the damage has extended to educational institutions, with 17 primary schools, 20 secondary schools, 7 preschools, and 3 universities affected. Additionally, 9 local churches have been impacted. The flooding has also disrupted access to clean water, with more than 800 drinking water taps no longer functioning properly.

Why this matters: The extensive flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo highlights the vulnerability of communities to the impacts of climate change and rising water levels. The displacement of thousands of residents and the damage to infrastructure emphasize the need for proactive measures to mitigate the risks associated with extreme weather events and ensure the safety and well-being of affected populations.

The economic impact of the flooding is also significant, with 5 major markets affected and the submersion of the Kalundu and Kasenga (Port de Gaby) ports, as well as the Maendeleo beach. Estimates suggest that more than 120 hectares of agricultural land have been inundated, posing a threat to food security in the region. Despite the challenges, the Kalundu port remains operational, serving as a vital lifeline for the affected communities.

Key Takeaways

  • Kalundu port in DRC remains operational despite widespread flooding in surrounding areas.
  • Flooding has displaced 34,358 individuals, with 6,530 households staying with host families.
  • Over 2,800 houses, 17 primary schools, and 9 local churches have been affected by flooding.
  • Flooding has disrupted access to clean water and submerged major markets and ports.
  • Extensive flooding highlights the vulnerability of communities to climate change-related impacts.