Technical support project and analysis of the dissemination of carbon dioxide and methane from Lake Kivu in nature and its impact on biodiversity in the Great Lakes region since 2012 (Proposals Track)

Bulonze Chibaderhe (FEMAC Asbl)


Straddling the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, at an altitude of 1,460 m, Lake Kivu is one of the ten great lakes in Africa, alongside the main ones that are Victoria and Tanganyika. Kivu contains very high concentrations of gases (carbon dioxide and methane in particular), produced by volcanic activity in the region and the decomposition of organic matter. It has 2,700 km2 of this body of water, a depth that approaches 500 meters in places. It is estimated to contain 60 billion cubic meters of dissolved methane and about 300 billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide accumulated over time. Lake Kivu, located north of Lake Tanganyika and contains a very high amount of carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are both greenhouse gases that affect how well the planet works. The first stays in the atmosphere for a hundred years while the second stays there only for a dozen years. The effect of the dissemination of these in nature prompts me to collect as much data as possible on their circulation and to suggest possible solutions that are consistent with the Paris Agreement. In addition, many wastes come from households and/or small industries in the towns of Bukavu, Goma for the DRC and those of Gyangugu and Gisenyi for Rwanda constitute a high source of CH4 emissions which also contribute to global warming. The exploitation of methane expected in the near future is an additional threat to the sustainable development of ecosystem resources. For various reasons, Lake Kivu constitutes an adequate model for studying the responses of large tropical lakes to changes linked to human activity: indeed, despite its physical and biogeochemical peculiarities, the limnological and ecological processes of its pelagic waters are subject to the same forcings as in other large lakes in the same region, as shown by recent studies.