Children beside Lake Mai-Ndombe, April 2006
|Country||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|• Total||98,851 km2 (38,167 sq mi)|
Mai-Ndombe District was a district of pre-2015 Bandundu Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2015, it was merged with Plateaux District and the independently administered city of Bandundu, all in pre-2015 Bandundu Province, to the new Mai-Ndombe Province.
Mai-Ndombe extends north from the Kasai River and lies to the east of the Congo River. The district takes it name from the large but shallow Lake Mai-Ndombe, which covers 2,300 square kilometres (890 sq mi) but expands to double or triple that size in the rainy season. The Lukenie River flows from the east and runs through the southern part of the district. The Lukenie joins with the Fimi River, which drains Lake Mai-Ndombe and continues westward to form the boundary with Plateaux District and joins the Kasai at Mushie.
The district includes the Mai Ndombe Conservation Concession, an area of 299,640 hectares (740,400 acres) on the western shore of Lake Mai Ndombe in the Inongo Territory. The concession extends over the Ntomba, Baselenge, and Bolia sectors. This is the first REDD+ community-based forest conservation project in the country.
Even by the standards of the country, Mai-Ndombe District is relatively undeveloped. During the colonial era the region was a major producer of rubber, copal, textile fibers, palm nuts and lumber. Since independence it has been neglected. Buildings such as schools, health centers, hospitals, offices and churches from the earlier period have been allowed to deteriorate. Although roads in Kutu territory have been maintained by non-government organizations, Oswhe territory in the east no longer has any roads or bridges. Ports have also been abandoned. The Forest Development Corporation SODEFOR employs several hundred workers, and a few other companies also operate in the district.
Mai-Ndombe is divided into Inongo Territory, Kiri Territory, Kutu Territory and Oshwe Territory. The administrative center is the town of Inongo on the east shore of Lake Mai-Ndombe. Under the February 2006 constitution, Plateaux District, Mai-Ndombe District and the city of Bandundu were to be combined into a new Mai-Ndombe Province, with the change taking effect before 18 February 2009. As of October 2010, this had not taken place, and the ruling party was calling for a further extension to the deadline.
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