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Ubangi River at the outskirts of Bangui.

The Ubangi River, also spelled Oubangui, (pronounced /juːˈbæŋɡi/ or /uːˈbæŋɡi/) is a major tributary of the Congo River in Central Africa. It is considered to begin at the junction of the Mbomou and Uele Rivers, flows west for about 350 km, then bends to the southwest, passes through Bangui, then flows south for another 500 km to the Congo.

Together with the Congo River, it provides an important transport artery for river boats between Bangui and Brazzaville.

From its start to 100 km below Bangui, the Ubangi defines the boundary between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Thereafter, it forms the boundary between the DRC and the Republic of Congo until it empties into the Congo River.

In the 1960s, a plan was proposed to divert waters from the Ubangi to the Chari River which empties into Lake Chad. According to the plan, the water from the Ubangi would revitalize that lake and provide livelihood in fishing and enhanced agriculture to tens of millions of central Africans and Sahelians. Inter-basin water transfer schemes were proposed in the 1980s and 1990s by Nigerian engineer J. Umolu (ZCN Scheme) and Italian firm Bonifica (Transaqua Scheme).[1][2][3][4][5] In 1994, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) proposed a similar project and at a March 2008 summit, the heads of state of the LCBC member countries committed to the diversion project.[6] In April, 2008, the LCBC advertised a request for proposals for a World Bank-funded feasibility study.

References

  1. ^ Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol. 7, 1999
  2. ^ New Scientist, March 23, 1991 Africa at a Watershed (Ubangi - Lake Chad Inter-basin transfer)
  3. ^ Umolu, J. C.; 1990, Macro Perspectives for Nigeria’s Water Resources Planning, Proc. of the First Biennial National Hydrology Symposium, Maiduguri, Nigeria, pp. 218–262 (discussion of Ubangi-Lake Chad diversion schemes)
  4. ^ The Changing Geography of Africa and the Middle East By Graham Chapman, Kathleen M. Baker, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, 1992 Routledge.
  5. ^ Combating Climate Induced Water And Energy Deficiencies In West Central Africa (Ubangi - Lake Chad Inter-basin transfer)
  6. ^ Voice of America News, March 28, 2008 African Leaders Team Up to Rescue Lake Chad

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