Bandundu Province

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Bandundu Province
Province du Bandundu
Province
Lake Maï Ndombe
Lake Maï Ndombe
Location of Bandundu Province
Country  Democratic Republic of the Congo
Capital Bandundu
Largest city Kikwit
Government
 • Governor Jean Kamisendu Kutuka
Area
 • Total 295,658 km2 (114,154 sq mi)
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 8,062,463
 • Density 27/km2 (71/sq mi)
Official language French
National language Kikongo, Lingala

Bandundu is one of the eleven provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It borders the provinces of Kinshasa and Bas-Congo to the west, Équateur to the north, and Kasai-Occidental to the east. The provincial capital is also called Bandundu (formerly Banningville).

In 1966, Bandundu was formed by merging the three post-colonial political regions: Kwilu, Kwango, and Mai-Ndombe.

Geography[edit]

Beside the Kwilu River at Bandundu

The landscape of Bandundu province is mainly one of plateaus covered in savanna, cut by rivers and streams that are often bordered by thick forest.[1] The province is bisected by the Kasai River, which flows into the Congo River on the province's western boundary. Other major rivers are the Kwango, Kwenge, Kwilu and Lukenie.[2] Lake Mai-Ndombe is the largest lake, with this lake and the surrounding swamp forest forming the southern portion of the Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe Ramsar wetlands.[3] L'associazione ASPA[disambiguation needed]

Economy[edit]

Most villages are situated on the higher ground, with the villagers practicing shifting slash-and-burn agriculture in the valleys. The main crops are manioc (cassava), maize, squash, and beans. The villagers raise chickens, ducks, goats, sheep and cattle, and supplement their diet with fish and bushmeat. A few Indian and Chinese business people selling electronics such as cell phones, televisions and sound systems have opened shop in the last year.[1]

Divisions[edit]

Street in central Bandundu

The province is divided into the cities of Bandundu and Kikwit and the districts of Kwango, Kwilu, Mai-Ndombe and Plateaux. Cities and towns, with their 2010 populations, are:

Name District Territory Pop. 2010[4] Coordinates[4]
Bagata Kwilu District Bagata Territory 18,938 3°44′S 17°57′E / 3.73°S 17.95°E / -3.73; 17.95 (Bagata)
Bandundu Mai-Ndombe District (city) 137,460 3°19′S 17°23′E / 3.31°S 17.38°E / -3.31; 17.38 (Bandundu)
Bolobo Plateaux District Bolobo Territory 31,735 2°10′S 16°14′E / 2.16°S 16.24°E / -2.16; 16.24 (Bolobo)
Bulungu Kwilu District Bulungu Territory 54,880 4°33′S 18°36′E / 4.55°S 18.60°E / -4.55; 18.60 (Bulungu)
Dibaya-Lubwe Kwilu District Idiofa Territory 37,390 4°09′S 19°52′E / 4.15°S 19.87°E / -4.15; 19.87 (Dibaya-Lubue)
Feshi Kwango District Feshi Territory 7,591 6°07′S 18°10′E / 6.12°S 18.17°E / -6.12; 18.17 (Feshi)
Gungu Kwilu District Gungu Territory 22,946 5°48′S 19°20′E / 5.80°S 19.33°E / -5.80; 19.33 (Gungu)
Idiofa Kwilu District Idiofa Territory 58,637 5°02′S 19°36′E / 5.03°S 19.60°E / -5.03; 19.60 (Idiofa)
Inongo Mai-Ndombe District Inongo Territory 46,657 1°56′S 18°17′E / 1.94°S 18.28°E / -1.94; 18.28 (Inongo)
Kahemba Kwango District Kahemba Territory 18,061 5°15′S 19°42′E / 5.25°S 19.70°E / -5.25; 19.70 (Kahemba)
Kasongo-Lunda Kwango District Kasongo-Lunda Territory 22,860 6°29′S 16°50′E / 6.48°S 16.83°E / -6.48; 16.83 (Kasongo-Lunda)
Kenge Kwango District Kenge Territory 42,884 4°50′S 16°54′E / 4.83°S 16.90°E / -4.83; 16.90 (Kenge)
Kikwit Kwilu District (city) 370,328 5°02′S 18°49′E / 5.03°S 18.81°E / -5.03; 18.81 (Kikwit)
Kiri Mai-Ndombe District Kiri Territory 14,033 1°27′S 19°00′E / 1.45°S 19.00°E / -1.45; 19.00 (Kiri)
Kutu Mai-Ndombe District Kutu Territory 37,405 2°44′S 18°09′E / 2.73°S 18.15°E / -2.73; 18.15 (Kutu)
Mangai Kwilu District Idiofa Territory 43,155 4°02′S 19°32′E / 4.04°S 19.53°E / -4.04; 19.53 (Mangai)
Masi-Manimba Kwilu District Masi-Manimba Territory 30,542 4°46′S 17°55′E / 4.77°S 17.92°E / -4.77; 17.92 (Masi-Manimba)
Mushie Plateaux District Mushie Territory 42,409 3°01′S 16°55′E / 3.02°S 16.92°E / -3.02; 16.92 (Mushie)
Oshwe Mai-Ndombe District Oshwe Territory 21,681 3°24′S 19°30′E / 3.40°S 19.50°E / -3.40; 19.50 (Oshwe)
Popokabaka Kwango District Popokabaka Territory 12,564 5°42′S 16°35′E / 5.70°S 16.58°E / -5.70; 16.58 (Popokabaka)

Under the 2006 constitution, Bandundu was to be broken into the proposed provinces of Kwilu, Kwango and Mai-Ndombe, effective no later than 18 February 2009.[5] Kwilu province was to be formed by combining Kwilu district and the city of Kikwit, Kwango province was to be formed from Kwango district, and Mai-Ndombe province was to be formed by combining Plateaux District, Mai-Ndombe District and the city of Bandundu.[6] As of October 2010, this had not taken place.[7]

Government[edit]

Seat of the provincial government, Bandundu

Jean Kamisendu Kutuka is the current governor of Bandundu province.

Education[edit]

Daily life[edit]

Many citizens of Bandundu make their living with small provision shops selling basic food items, various beauty products and other beauty products such as weave hair. There has been an increase in foreign entrepreneurs opening electronics shops and other electronic items increasing the market awareness. Today's bus transportation (costs $30 one way) from Kinchasa (the Capitol) to Bandundu is twice a week, but the ferry crossing only operates from 7am to 5 pm. There are two television stations normally showing local news from Kinchasa, religion or the country's national sport; football. Hotels like the Hotel Vendome are slowly evolving in the center of town, offering full services to include its own dedicated internet. Although international visitors are minimal, there are occasional visitors connected to NGOs and local government work. Chez Jacque, an outdoor disco provides a nightlife of Congolese music for the younger population, however, most citizens prefer the sidewalk cafes with music, grilled goat meat and beer; such as Primus, Mitzig and Doppel. Local transportation in Bandundu is mostly bicycles and motorbikes referred to as "Toleka" meaning "Let's go" in the Lingala language. Traffic flows are closely directed by the street police at each intersection to avoid clashes between the few automobiles, motor bikes, foot traffic, and push carts. The local cultural center is used for graduations, public services, and church. There are enormous money changing outlets for local and international money such as; Soficom and Western Union. Music is an enormous part of life in the Congo where the love of the rhumba can dominate the dance floor with the likes for King Kester Emeneya etc...crooning to the old samba beat from a Cuban influence.

Principal languages[edit]

Two main trade languages are spoken in the Bandundu Province: Lingala, spoken north of the Kasai River, and Kituba (also called Kikongo ya Leta) spoken south of the river. These languages have become so commonplace that many have grown up using them as their first language. There are also many local dialects such as Lele and Wongo.[8]

References[edit]