Congo Basin's Shrinking Watersheds: Potential Consequences on Local Communities

Congo Basin's Shrinking Watersheds: Potential Consequences on Local Communities

Bila-Isia Inogwabini (Saint Pierre Canisius Institute of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (ISAV), Congo & Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1046-8.ch012

Abstract

Rainfall time series data from three sites (Kinshasa, Luki, and Mabali) in the western Democratic Republic of Congo were analyzed using regression analysis; rainfall intensities decreased in all three sites. The Congo Basin waters will follow the equation y = -20894x + 5483.16; R2 = 0.7945. The model suggests 18%-loss of the Congo Basin water volume and 7%-decrease for fish biomasses by 2025. Financial incomes generated by fishing will decrease by 11% by 2040 compared with 1998 levels. About 51% of women (N= 408,173) from the Lake Tumba Landscape fish; their revenues decreased by 11% between 2005 and 2010. If this trend continues, women's revenues will decrease by 59% by 2040. Decreased waters will severely impact women (e.g. increasing walking distances to clean waters). Increasing populations and decreasing waters will lead to immigrations to this region because water resources will remain available and highly likely ignite social conflicts over aquatic resources.
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Main Focus Of The Chapter

This chapter presents three long term data from three locations in the western Democratic Republic of Congo (Figure 1), with the aim of presenting these long time series data in a single analytical framework and discussing patterns that emerge from that analysis in the context of global climate change. The chapter links trends in rainfall and surface area Congo Basin watershed and projects potential effects of these trends to the level of the central Africa region. Combining these projected effects with field data freshwater resources, the paper discusses inferred effects on climate changes on local populations.

Figure 1.

Locations from which weather data were collected

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