Kiavinyonge is one of the three fishing villages within the Virunga National Park.
There was virtually no human population except for some Batwa pygmy hunters when the Park was created, but a population explosion occurred in the late 1950s. Because of its fertility and cool, malaria-free climate, Kivu is now the most densely populated province in the country, with over 300 inhabitants per sq.km (Biswas et al.,1996). Local tribes such as the Banande who live in the foothills of the Rwenzori settled on the Park borders. Some 60% of the Park’s boundaries are now densely populated. Small administrative posts and villages of the past have become large towns and are sometimes populated by outsiders, for example, the Bakiga from Uganda who poach but have never officially occupied Park territory (Verschuren,1988). Within the Park are three fishing villages, Kiavinyonge,Nyakakoma and Vitshumbi, where a population of 20,000 grew to 35,000 from 1988 to 1993. During and after the wars, 600,000 Rwandan refugees were housed in camps in or bordering the Park (Biswas et al., 1996). The country-wide civil war has also led to a continuous massacring of the people, hundreds of thousands of refugees, lack of employment and extreme poverty, which have all contributed to the Park’s destruction.
Camera: CANON A1
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fabianoleite (9659) 2010-01-17 14:30
It's always an enriching experience to see children's faces and activities. This picture shows the strngth of children that go on living and even having fun sometimes despite tragedies, hunger, violence, etc. Congratulations!
BennyV (13877) 2010-01-18 9:24
With the 50th birthday of Congo independence coming up, it's great to see your older scans. There are lots of interesting photobooks and exhibitions on Congo being published these days, including one by Belgian Magnum-photographer Carl De Keyser. If you get a chance to see his pictures, they come warmly recommended!
(And I hope Congo gets on the map at TE here!)