Articles | Volume 378
Proc. IAHS, 378, 51–57, 2018
Proc. IAHS, 378, 51–57, 2018

Post-conference publication 29 May 2018

Post-conference publication | 29 May 2018

A GIS-based estimation of soil erosion parameters for soil loss potential and erosion hazard in the city of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo

Martin Tshikeba Kabantu1, Raphael Muamba Tshimanga1, Jean Marie Onema Kileshye3,2, Webster Gumindoga3, and Jules Tshimpampa Beya1 Martin Tshikeba Kabantu et al.
  • 1Dept. of Natural Resources Management and the Congo River basin network for research and capacity building in water resource (CB-HYDRONET), University of Kinshasa, P.O. Box 117, Kinshasa XI, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 2WaterNet, P.O. Box MP 600 Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 3Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167 Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

Abstract. Soil erosion has detrimental impacts on socio economic life, thus increasing poverty. This situation is aggravated by poor planning and lack of infrastructure especially in developing countries. In these countries, efforts to planning are challenged by lack of data. Alternative approaches that use remote sensing and geographical information systems are therefore needed to provide decision makers with the so much needed information for planning purposes. This helps to curb the detrimental impacts of soil erosion, mostly emanating from varied land use conditions. This study was carried out in the city of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo with the aim of using alternative sources of data, based on earth observation resources, to determine the spatial distribution of soil loss and erosion hazard in the city of Kinshasa. A combined approach based on remote sensing skills and rational equation of soil erosion estimation was used. Soil erosion factors, including rainfall-runoff erosivity R), soil erodibility (K), slope steepness and length (SL), crop/vegetation and management (C) were calculated for the city of Kinshasa. Results show that soil loss in Kinshasa ranges from 0 to 20 t ha−1 yr−1. Most of the south part of the urban area were prone to erosion. From the total area of Kinshasa (996 500 ha), 25 013 ha (2.3 %) is of very high ( >  15 t ha−1 yr−1) risk of soil erosion. Urban areas consist of 4.3 % of the area with very high ( >  15 t ha−1 yr−1) risk of soil erosion compared to a very high risk of 2.3 % ( >  15 t ha−1 yr−1) in the rural area. The study shows that the soil loss in the study area is mostly driven by slope, elevation, and informal settlements.

Short summary
This study was done in order to promote the use of remote sensing products when dealing water resources in the Congo river basin. It is the first step of a large research on the evaluation of the performance of remote sensing products on water resources modeling in the Congo river basin.