Irrigation in the Nile Basin

Irrigated Areas in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Nile basin in DRC covers less than 1% of the area of the country. The area is hilly and does not really lend itself to irrigation. This area is rather densely populated with most people engaged in cattle rearing and fishery activities around Lake Albert. It is considered that about 10,000 ha could be developed for irrigation (FAO, 1997).

Major crops grown include Cereals (rice, maize), Tubers, Cash crops (coffee, cocoa) and Sugarcane. In the past, the national program for rice production (PNR) has managed 80 ha including the reparation of irrigation canals and drainage and the distribution of pumping material. It has also managed a total of 300 ha of valley bottoms in the Kikwit region, the Ruzizi valley in the south of Kivu, Lodja in East Kasai, Mbandaka-Bikoro, Gemena-Karawa and Bumba in the Equator Province. The total irrigated water withdrawal for the Nile basin part has been estimated at 600,000 m3 per year (FAO, 2010)