IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th January, 2024 Geography


  • The Congo River is currently experiencing its most elevated water levels in over six decades, leading to widespread flooding in both the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Congo Republic.
  • This has resulted in the loss of over 300 lives in recent events.

About Congo River

  • The Congo River, also referred to as the Zaire River, is situated in west-central Africa.
  • Spanning a length of 2,900 miles (4,700 km), it holds the position of the continent's second-longest river, following the Nile, and ranks as the ninth-longest globally.
  • The river derives its name from the ancient Kongo Kingdom near its mouth.
  • The expansive Congo River system traverses the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, western Zambia, northern Angola, and sections of Cameroon and Tanzania.
  • In terms of its course, the river originates in the highlands of northeastern Zambia between Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa (Malawi) as the Chambeshi River, starting at an elevation of 5,760 feet (1,760 meters).
  • It then follows a vast counterclockwise arc, flowing northwest, west, and southwest, ultimately emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Banana (Banane) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The river's trajectory through the rainforest leads it to cross the equator twice.
  • Distinguished as the world's deepest river, the Congo River reaches depths exceeding 750 feet (230 meters).
  • It possesses the second-largest flow globally, discharging 1.5 million cubic feet of water per second, second only to the Amazon.
  • The river boasts the second-largest watershed of any river, draining an extensive area of 3.7 million square kilometers (1.4 million square miles) known as the Congo Basin.
  • The Congo Basin encompasses diverse landscapes, including rich tropical rainforests and swamps, constituting the majority of Central Africa's rainforest.
  • This region, totaling 178 million hectares as of 2005, represents the world's second-largest rainforest, trailing only the Amazon Rainforest in South America.
  • Key tributaries of the Congo River include the Ubangi, Sangha, and Kasai.

                                                                 PRACTICE QUESTION

  1. With reference to the Congo River, consider the following statements:
  2. It is Africa’s second-longest river, following the Nile.
  3. It flows into the Indian Ocean.
  4. The Congo River basin constitutes the planets second-largest rainforest.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. A) Only one
  2. B) Only two
  3. C) All three
  4. D) None

Answer: B