Inland Water Ways across Sub-Saharan African Nations

Inland Water Ways across Sub-Saharan African Nations

Water is crucial to human survival, food production, maintaining a healthy environment, and social- economic growth of a nation. Access to portable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene is a crucial challenge facing  Sub-Saharan African countries.

List of Sub-Saharan Africa consist of  46  nations which include:

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cabo Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania

In 2017, according to a report of the United Nations Population Division, the annual growth rate of countries in Sub-Saharan African is 2.7. This implies that as the population increases, the demand for water rises, and declining supplies will result in higher costs. It has become a commodity of strategic importance in this region. This creates an emergency situation where there is an urgent need to balance the use of water for the various purpose through the use policies dedicated to the preservation and management of water resources, technology advancement in water treatment and accessibility of potable water in remote areas.


  • Senegal river
  • Niger river
  • Volta river
  • Benue river
  • Nile river
  • Congo River
  • Zambezi
  • Lake Albert
  • Lake Tanganyika
  • Lake Victoria
  • Lake Chad
  • lake Nyasa

Sub-Saharan Africa’s reality and challenges in the management and use of In-land water resources provide great opportunities for the sustainable development of this important resource. And at the same time, it is vital for the region’s social, economic, and environmental security.

Senegal River:
The Senegal River is framed by the conjunction of two little streams, the Bafing and Bakoye, which happens close to Bafoulabé, Mali, at around 1,083 km from the Atlantic Ocean.1 After the intersection of western Mali, the Senegal River establishes the limit among Senegal and Mauritania. The Senegal River bowl possesses an all-out territory of 289,000 km2. It incorporates three principal districts—the upper bowl, valley, and delta—with every area plainly portrayed by unmistakable ecological conditions

Niger River:
The region of the Niger River bowl in Guinea is just 4% of the complete zone of the bowl, however, the wellsprings of the Niger River are situated in this nation. The amount of water entering Mali from Guinea (40 km3/yr) is more noteworthy than the amount of water entering Nigeria from Niger (36 km3/yr), around 1800 hen further downstream. This is expected among different motivations to the huge decrease in spillover in the inward delta in Mali through drainage and dissipation joined with no overflow from the entire of the left bank in Mali and Niger.

The most essential territories of the Niger bowl are situated in Mali, Niger, and Nigeria (25 % in every one of these three nations). Mali and Niger are on the whole subject to the Niger River for their water assets. On account of Niger, almost 90% of its all-out water assets begins outside its fringes (the Niger River and different tributaries from Burkina Faso and Benin).

Streams and releases

The Niger River, with an absolute length of around 4100 km, is the third-longest stream in Africa, after the Nile and the Congo/Zaire Rivers, and the longest and biggest waterway in West Africa.

The upper Niger River framework

The wellspring of the Niger River most remote far from the mouth is in the mountains of Guinea close to the outskirts with Sierra Leone. Together with a few tributaries, it crosses the inside level of Guinea streaming north-east towards the outskirts with Mali. Soon after the outskirts, it is joined by another tributary which additionally starts in Guinea. The absolute yearly stream entering Mali from Guinea is assessed at 40 km3.

The stream at that point continues north-east towards the inward delta in Mali, where it is joined at Mopti by an imperative tributary, the Bani River, which is around 1100 km long and has its sources in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

Volta River:
Both of the stream’s two principle upper branches, the Black and White Voltas, ascend in the open levels of Burkina Faso (once in the past Upper Volta) and join in north-focal Ghana about 300 miles (480 km) north of the ocean. (These two branches are separately called the Mouhoun and the Nakambe streams in Burkina Faso.) The Volta’s lower course was outstanding to Europeans since the season of the fifteenth-century investigations of the Portuguese, who gave it its name, signifying “turn,” on account of its contorting course.

Benue River:
Benue River, likewise spelled Bénoué, a waterway in western Africa, the longest tributary of the Niger, around 673 miles (1,083 km) long. It ascends in northern Cameroon as the Bénoué at around 4,400 feet (1,340 m) and, in its initial 150 miles (240 km), drops in excess of 2,000 feet (600 m) over numerous falls and rapids, whatever is left of its course being generally continuous. Amid flood periods its waters are connected by means of the Mayo-Kebbi tributary with the Logone, which streams into Lake Chad. Underneath the Mayo-Kebbi the waterway is safe all year by pontoons drawing under 2.5 feet (0.75 m) and by bigger vessels for progressively confined periods. A significant volume of imports (especially oil) is transported by waterway, and cotton and peanuts (groundnuts) are sent out similarly from the Chad locale. Among Yola and Makurdi the Benue is joined by the Gongola, and it at that point streams east and south for around 300 miles (480 km).

Nile River :
Nile River, the longest waterway on the planet, called the lead of African streams. It rises south of the Equator and streams northward through northeastern Africa to deplete into the Mediterranean Sea. It has a length of around 4,132 miles (6,650 kilometers) and channels a territory assessed at 1,293,000 square miles (3,349,000 square kilometers). Its bowl incorporates parts of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the developed piece of Egypt. Its most removed source is the Kagera River in Burundi.

Congo River:
Congo River, in the past Zaire River, streams in west-focal Africa. With a length of 2,900 miles (4,700 km), it is the mainland’s second-longest waterway, after the Nile. It ascends in the good countries of northeastern Zambia between Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa (Malawi) as the Chambeshi River at a rise of 5,760 feet (1,760 meters) above ocean level and at a separation of around 430 miles (700 km) from the Indian Ocean. Its course at that point appears as a monster counterclockwise circular segment, streaming toward the northwest, west, and southwest before depleting into the Atlantic Ocean at Banana (Banane) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its seepage bowl, covering a region of 1,335,000 square miles (3,457,000 square km), takes in nearly the whole region of that nation, just as the vast majority of the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, eastern Zambia, and northern Angola and parts of Cameroon and Tanzania.

Zambezi River:
Zambezi River, likewise spelled Zambesi, waterway depleting a huge bit of south-focal Africa. Together with its tributaries, it shapes the fourth biggest waterway bowl of the landmass. The waterway streams eastbound for around 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometers) from its source on the Central African Plateau to exhaust into the Indian Ocean. With its tributaries, it depletes a zone of in excess of 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square kilometers). The Zambezi (signifying “Extraordinary River” in the language of the Tonga individuals) incorporates along its course the Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most noteworthy normal marvels, and the Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams, two of Africa’s biggest hydroelectric ventures. The stream either crosses or structures the limits of six nations—Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique—and the utilization of its waters has been the subject of a progression of global understandings.

Lake Albert:
Lake Albert, likewise called Albert Nyanza and Lake Mobutu Sese Seko, northernmost of the lakes in the Western Rift Valley, in east-focal Africa, on the fringe between Congo (Kinshasa) and Uganda. In 1864 the lake was first visited by a European, Samuel Baker, who was looking for the wellsprings of the Nile; he named it after Queen Victoria’s partner and distributed his encounters in The Albert N’yanza (1866). Romolo Gessi, an Italian trooper, and traveler circumnavigated it in 1876. Both Henry (later Sir Henry) Morton Stanley and Mehmed Emin Paşa (Eduard Schnitzer) set up fortifications on its shores.

With a region of around 2,160 square miles (5,600 square km), a length of 100 miles (160 km), and a normal width of 22 miles (35 km), Albert is a shallow waterway, averaging around 80 feet (25 m) top to bottom; its most extreme profundity is 190 feet (60 m).

In the southwest, the Semliki River brings into the lake the waters of Lake Edward, of the Congo Escarpment, and of the downpour splashed the Ruwenzori Range, constructing a huge alluvial plain all the while. There is an impressive scope of marsh at the northern end, where the Victoria Nile enters as a drowsy stream in a swampy delta. Very quickly the lake limits into the Albert Nile, through which it supplies water to the White Nile. In the west and east, the lake is circumscribed by forested precipices and gorges.

Lake Albert lies at a height of 2,021 feet (616 m) in the most reduced and most sultry piece of Uganda. The mean yearly temperature is 78° F (26° C), and precipitation midpoints 34– 40 inches (864– 1,016 mm). Due to the high rate of vanishing, the waters are fairly saline, and free phosphate is additionally present. Diversion—including elephants, wild ox, hippopotamus, crocodile, and gazelle—is inexhaustible, particularly in the Semliki Plains and the northern shores close Murchison Falls (Kabarega Falls). Angling continues a meager populace, situated in lakeshore towns.

Lake Tanganyika:
Lake Tanganyika, second biggest of the pools of eastern Africa. It is the longest freshwater lake on the planet (410 miles [660 km]) and the second most profound (4,710 feet [1,436 meters]) after Lake Baikal in Russia. Relatively restricted, fluctuating in width from 10 to 45 miles (16 to 72 km), it covers around 12,700 square miles (32,900 square km) and structures the limit among Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and part of the limit among Burundi and the DRC just as a feature of the limit among Tanzania and Zambia. It possesses the southern end of the Western Rift Valley, and for the vast majority of its length, the land rises steeply from its shores. Its waters will, in general, be salty. Despite the fact that bolstered by various streams, the lake isn’t the focal point of a broad waste territory. The biggest waterways releasing into the lake are the Malagarasi, the Ruzizi, and the Kalambo, which has one of the most noteworthy cascades on the planet (704 feet [215 meters]; see Kalambo Falls). Its outlet is the Lukuga River, which streams into the Lualaba River.

Lake Victoria:
Lake Victoria, additionally called Victoria Nyanza, the biggest lake in Africa and the boss supply of the Nile, lying for the most part in Tanzania and Uganda yet verging on Kenya. Its territory is 26,828 square miles (69,484 square km). Among the freshwater pools of the world, it is surpassed in size just by Lake Superior in North America. It is an unpredictable quadrilateral fit as a fiddle, and its shores, save money on the west, are profoundly indented. Its most noteworthy length from north to south is 210 miles (337 km), its most noteworthy expansiveness 150 miles (240 km). Its coastline surpasses 2,000 miles (3,220 km). Its waters fill a shallow sadness in the focal point of the incredible level that extends between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys. (See East African Rift System.) The lake’s surface is 3,720 feet (1,134 meters) above ocean level, and its most noteworthy determined profundity is 270 feet (82 meters). Numerous archipelagos are contained inside the lake, similar to various reefs, frequently just beneath the outside of the unmistakable waters. Lake Victoria has in excess of 200 types of fish, of which the Tilapia is the most financially critical. The lake’s bowl region covers 92,240 square miles (238,900 square km).

Lake Chad:
Lake Chad, French Lac Tchad, freshwater lake situated in the Sahelian zone of west-focal Africa at the combination of Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger. It is arranged in an inside bowl once in the past involved by a lot bigger antiquated ocean that is now and then called Mega-Chad. Verifiably, Lake Chad has positioned among the biggest lakes in Africa, however, its surface region changes significantly via season, just as from year to year. At the point when the outside of the lake is roughly 920 feet (280 meters) above ocean level, the zone is around 6,875 square miles (17,800 square km); in the mid 21st century, be that as it may, the region was ordinarily around 580 square miles (1,500 square km). The hydrologic commitments and an organic decent variety of Lake Chad are critical territorial resources. The locale is imperative for critical archeological revelations, its job in trans-Saharan exchange, and its relationship with memorable African kingdoms.

Lake Nyasa:
Lake Nyasa, or Lake Malawi, Port. Niassa,600 sq mi (30,040 sq km), c.360 mi (580 km) long and from 15 to 50 mi (24– 80 km) wide, E focal Africa, in the Great Rift Valley. Lake Nyasa, the third biggest lake in Africa, is circumscribed by Tanzania in the north and upper east, by Mozambique in the east, and by Malawi in the south and west. The lake is limited by soak mountains, aside from in the south. Its fundamental tributary is the Ruhuhu River in the upper east; the Shire (in the south), a tributary of the Zambezi, is the lake’s sole outlet. There is a normal steamship administration on the lake. Overfishing has drained the lake’s fish stocks. Lake Nyasa was visited and named by the Scottish preacher David Livingstone in 1859. The northern part of the lake is debated among Malawi and Tanzania, with Malawi asserting every last bit of it and Tanzania guaranteeing the eastern half.

In conclusion, Sub- Saharan countries have huge water resources which can be harnessed for economic, social and political  growth and stability

Leave a Reply