The impact and effects of the rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika have been dramatic. A team of experts from the Contracting States of the Lake Tanganyika Authority carried out a field mission to Kalemie in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the Lukuga River which is the outlet of Lake Tanganyika. The objective of the mission was to identify the probable factors of this spectacular rise in the water level of Lake Tanganyika. The conclusions of that field mission were presented on Monday, July 12, 2021, in a workshop organized in Bujumbura by the Ministry of Environment, agriculture, and livestock of the Republic of Burundi in collaboration with the Lake Tanganyika Authority.
During this visit to the Lukuga river, the experts of the Lake Tanganyika authority found that the bed of this river was narrowed due to the anarchic constructions around this only outlet of Lake Tanganyika. The experts have recommended a regional study of Lake Tanganyika and its basin on variations in the Lake’s water level. They suggested also the cleaning and widening of the bed of the Lukuga river at its source. The experts also recommended protecting the basins of major rivers that flow into Lake Tanganyika.
In addition, the experts further recommended mapping of flood-prone areas along Lake Tanganyika, parcel allocation and construction restrictions in these areas, and construction of a control dam at the mouth of Lake Tanganyika that would play a significant role in regulating the decline or rise of the waters of the lake are among other recommendations.
According to the Environment Minister Dr., Déo Guide Rurema, the report of experts and recommendations would be presented to the Conference of Ministers of the Lake Tanganyika Authority Member States, at its forthcoming meeting, to find a lasting solution to the problem.
In their interventions, the participants in this workshop suggested an in-depth analysis of the erosion phenomenon that causes solid sediment deposits in Lake Tanganyika, leading to the rise in water levels. They also proposed awareness-raising of riparian populations on the need to protect Lake Tanganyika.
The Executive Director of the Lake Tanganyika Authority, Mr. Tusanga Mukanga Sylvain congratulated the Government of Burundi for having established a collaborative framework for the appropriate conduct of the examination of the issue of the rising water levels of Lake Tanganyika. He also took the opportunity to announce that the rising waters of Lake Tanganyika would be on the agenda of the next conference of ministers of the Member Countries of the Lake Tanganyika Authority to be held in Tanzania before the end of the year.