A Quiet Step Towards Creation of the Lomami National Park

rapids at the bend in the river
The Congo River slips over a long series of rapids at its 90 degree articulation.

At the center of Congo, at the bend in the great River Congo, there is a town that was once – in the colonial era –an industrial center and was once – in early post-independence – a hopeful university town, but that since has been pulled down first by the slow suck of economic decline and then racked by repeated bloody eruptions. Kisangani is now quietly being reborn – a disciplined, progressive transformation.

a thoughtful man
The many improvements the new governor (above) has already made might be small compared to what is needed, but are huge compared to what we have come to expect.

A new governor for Oriental Province (Kisangani is the capital) is making repairs to roads, the airport, government buildings; he is doing away bit by bit with a culture of corruption; he is using taxes for the general good AND he is methodically signing decrees that steer the way to a more hopeful tomorrow.

kisangani sky and airport_Monusco helicopter
An airport whose roof has leaked for the last 20 years shall, perhaps, leak no more.

cathedral across the river
Riverfront Kisangani below the last of the rapids.

One decree he just signed creates the Lomami provincial park.

Park north of red line is in Oriental Province copy
More than two-thirds of the future national park is in Oriental Province – north of the red line on the map.

Maniema already created a provincial park (2010) that matched our proposed park boundaries, but the whole north part of the park, in Oriental, was no man’s land. It was for the elephant poachers and criminals like Colonel Thoms and 50cents.

Paulin in convincing mode
Paulin talking to local chiefs in the territorial centre of Ubundu.

The ICCN director in Kisangani, Paulin Tshikaya, has been assiduously pushing for provincial status. Only with legal status could park guards control a rampant commercial bushmeat trade. Only by clearing out the bushmeat commerce could we hope to protect the elephants. The supply lines of ammunition are undercover and linked with bushmeat transport.

newly maintained road and new exploitation
Even slight improvements in infrastructure will bring new challenges with opportunities. The road to Ubundu was barely made passable again and almost immediately: commercial timber exploitation.

With the new governor, there are new opportunities for conservation  and environmental responsibility.  The decree he signed earlier this month means that national park rules pertain throughout the future Lomami National Park . Join us in a toast.

Stanley for whom Stanleyville (Kisangani) was named
Would he join our toast? Today, I think he would, if he were with us. H.M.Stanley, explorer and administrator, after whom Stanleyville (now Kisangani) was first named.


  1. cleve hicks
    Posted 2013-08-31 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    This is encouraging news!

  2. Miguel
    Posted 2013-08-31 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Lomami National Park eza malamu mingui !!!!

  3. Posted 2013-08-31 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Thrilled to hear the encouraging news; toasting you here in Boise.


  4. John Sullivan
    Posted 2013-09-01 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Great news!

  5. JP d'Huart
    Posted 2013-09-01 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Hurray! Cheers! Kudos!

  6. JoJo Head
    Posted 2013-09-01 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Wonderful news!

  7. Kate Detwiler
    Posted 2013-09-01 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic news! Congratulations! Toasting you here in FL with a favorite beer, the Golden Monkey!

  8. Joel M
    Posted 2013-10-14 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    It is really great to hear about the hope that Mssr. Bamanisa is bringing to P. Orientale. Let’s hope he stays around for a while!! Great work for the Provincial Park!

  9. Posted 2013-10-30 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    This amazing! Keep up this wonderful job

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