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GET to know The Malagarasi - Tanzania’s second longest river

GET to know The Malagarasi - Tanzania’s second longest river

IT EMPTIES into the eastern side of Lake Tanganyika, about 25 miles south of Kigoma, and is one of the lake’s primary inflows.

The Malagarasi pre-dates Lake Tanganyika and was formerly a tributary of the Congo River to its west.

The first 80 kilometres of the river forms the international boundary between Tanzania and Burundi.

Main tributaries are Ugalla River, Gombe River, Moyowosi River, Ruchugi River and Nguya River.

The river also forms the western border of Tabora region, the southern border of Kagera region and the southwestern border of Geita region. Ithas the largest watershed of any river flowing into Lake Tanganyika.

The Malagarasi Muyovozi Wetlands are a designated a Ramsar site. Local tribes nicknamed the Malagarasi as ‘the river of bad spirits’.

The Malagarasi enters Tanzania, makes a circle and empties into the eastern side of Lake Tanganyika about 25 miles south of Kigoma, near Ilagala.

It is characterized as a low stream river, and its drainage includes four biotopes: swampy areas, river channels, a flowing river with a few moderate rapids, and a large double-branched delta.

The flow of the river ranges dramatically between the annual cycle of wet and dry seasons, and at times may be susceptible to flooding or reduced to a small stream; flow is also affected by local agriculture and deforestation which increase the level of sediments within the river.

At Mberagule, the flow of the river has been gauged to be 6.9 cubic kilometres per year.

About 80 kilometres from the mouth, the river flows through the Moyowosi swamplands, an area of ‘extensive swamps and floodplains’ and a ‘marshy labyrinth’.

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Author: DAILYNEWS REPORTER

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