Background: The quality-of-care assessment is an important indicator of the efficiency of a healthcare system. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), despite the implementation of the holistic care model for the treatment of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) victims, little is known about the client’s perception of this model and its outcome. This study aimed to examine the expected and perceived satisfaction of service recipients through the One-Stop-Center model of health care in eastern DRC. Methodology: This descriptive and analytical cross-sectional study was conducted at Panzi Hospital (PH), in eastern DRC. Data were collected by a mixed-methods approach, 64 Victims of Sexual Violence (VSVs) participated in individual (in-depth) interviews and 150 completed the Survey. Results: The findings from our qualitative analysis demonstrated that the VSVs admitted at PH had various expectations and needs on arrival depending on their social identity and residence locations. For instance, the VSVs coming from remote areas with ongoing armed conflicts mentioned concerns related to their security in the post-treatment period and the risks of re-victimization that this could incur. Conversely, those who came from the urban neighborhood, with relative security raised various concerns related to their legal reparation and ongoing access to other support services. Based on their origins, the result from the quantitative analysis demonstrated the overall satisfaction of the client with the support services, 86% (p<10%) mentioned their satisfaction with the home visiting or follow-up of the support workers during and after the treatment and 88% (p<10%) of respondents mentioned the social support received both at the hospital and in their communities. In relation to the holistic care model, 89 % (p<5%) of clients mentioned that the healthcare services they received from the PH exceeded their expectations and wished that PH could continue supporting them mentally and financially for an effective reintegration into their communities. Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that victims’ satisfaction with support services is based on either the organizational frameworks of clinical or support services within the hospital and the victims’ social environment.
The South-Kivu province, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has not been spared by the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of March 2022, South Kivu had registered 1682 con rmed cases of COVID-19. Different response measures had been used to maintain the disease. The effects of the response measures had worsened the state of poverty and vulnerability among the population. This study aimed to assess the results of the COVID-19 pandemic on the subjective well-being of South-Kivu households and the impact of resilience strategies on the well-being of these households. The data were collected thrice in 474 households, from August 2020 to February 2021, and analyzed using the structural equations model. We found that 85% of households lost their purchasing capacity, 98% were afraid of being infected with COVID-19 and 54% complied with health measures. The results showed that the resilience strategies adopted by families had increased their subjective well-being. In general, during the third round, the health (84%), socioeconomic (97%) and psychological (97%) dimensions of resilience had a positive impact (68%) on the subjective well-being of South-Kivu households. This study suggests that, in addition to the adaptive resilience strategies developed by families, there is a need to develop proactive and early warning measures for unforeseen pandemics that could lead to health crises.
Background The prevalence and impact of fistulas is more common in developing countries with limited access to emergency obstetric care. As a result of fistulas, women in these settings often experience adverse psychosocial factors. The purpose of this study was to describe characteristics of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) women who developed urogenital fistula following Cesarean sections (CS) and to determine the characteristics associated with fistula related to obstructed labor or CS. Methods We abstracted data from all patients with urogenital fistula following CS who received care during a DRC outreach surgical campaign. Urogenital fistula etiology was designated as related to (1) prolonged obstructed labor; or (2) a complication of CS. Descriptive analyses characterized patients with fistula related to obstructed labor versus CS. Logistic regression identified factors associated with fistula etiology. Results Among 125 patients, urogenital fistula etiology was attributed to obstructed labor in 77 (62%) and complications following CS in 48 (38%). Women with a fistula attributed to obstructed labor developed the fistula at a younger age (p = .04) and had a lower parity (p = .02). Attempted delivery prior to hospital arrival was associated with an increased risk of obstetric fistula (p < .01). Conclusion CS are commonly performed on women who arrive at the hospital following prolonged obstructed labor and fetal demise, and account for almost 40% of urogenital fistula. Obstetric providers should assess maternal status upon arrival to prevent unnecessary CS and identify women at risk of developing a fistula.
In 2009, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started its journey towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This study examines the evolution of financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators in the context of the commitment of DRC to UHC. To measure the effects of such a commitment on financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators, we analyse whether changes have occurred over the last two decades and, if applicable, when these changes happened. Using five variables as indicators for the measurement of the financial risk protection component, there as well retained three indicators to measure health outcomes. To identify time-related effects, we applied the parametric approach of breakpoint regression to detect whether the UHC journey has brought change and when exactly the change has occurred. Although there is a slight improvement in the financial risk protection indicators, we found that the adopted strategies have fostered access to healthcare for the wealthiest quantile of the population while neglecting the majority of the poorest. The government did not thrive persistently over the past decade to meet its commitment to allocate adequate funds to health expenditures. In addition, the support from donors appears to be unstable, unpredictable and unsustainable. We found a slight improvement in health outcomes attributable to direct investment in building health centres by the private sector and international organizations. Overall, our findings reveal that the prevention of catastrophic health expenditure is still not sufficiently prioritized by the country, and mostly for the majority of the poorest. Therefore, our work suggests that DRC’s UHC journey has slightly contributed to improve the financial risk protection and health outcomes indicators but much effort should be undertaken.
Background White Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is primarily a dioecious species with distinct male and female plants. Its breeding is constrained by sexual reproduction abnormalities, resulting in low success rates in cross-pollination. An accurate method for early detection of this plant’s sex and compatible fertile parents at the seedling stage would improve levels of cross-pollination success in breeding. We used the genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to dissect the molecular basis of plant sex and cross-compatibility-related traits in a panel of 112 parental clones used in D. rotundata crossing blocks from 2010 to 2020. Results Population structure and phylogeny analyses using 8326 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers grouped the 112 white yam clones into three subpopulations. Using Multi-locus random-SNP-effect Mixed Linear Model, we identified three, one, and three SNP markers that were significantly associated with the average crossability rate (ACR), the percentage of high crossability (PHC), and the plant sex, respectively. In addition, five genes considered to be directly linked to sexual reproduction or regulating the balance of sex hormones were annotated from chromosomal regions controlling the assessed traits. This study confirmed the female heterogametic sex determination (ZZ/ZW) system proposed for D. rotundata. Conclusions This study provides valuable insights on the genomic control of sex identity and cross-pollination success in D. rotundata. It, therefore, opens an avenue for developing molecular markers for predicting plant sex and cross-pollination success at the early growth stage before field sex expression in this crop.
The extent of crop residues and agricultural byproducts utilization for their integration in feeding systems in Eastern DR Congo was assessed in South-Kivu (Walungu territoire) and two territoires in the Tanganyika province (Kalemie and Moba territoires). Data were collected through 21 focus group discussions in which 273 farmers participated including respectively 116 (42%) from South Kivu and 157 (58%) from Tanganyika province. A logistic regression model was used to determine factors influencing the adoption of crop residues and agro-industrial byproducts as livestock feeds. Results revealed that all the respondents keep goats and chicken as major livestock. In all the territoires, crop residues (26.9%) were utilized more than agro-industrial byproducts (6.4%). Both crop residues and agro-industrial byproducts were most utilized in Walungu (39%, 10.3%), compared to Moba (18.3%, 6.2%) and Kalemie (23.4%, 2.7%). Sixteen types of crop residues and eight agro-industrial byproducts were identified and categorized into cereal crop residues (4), legume crop residues (4), root crop residues (3), fruit crop residues (3) and other crop residues (2). These crop residues and agro-industrial byproducts were generally sourced from around the homesteads and available and utilized throughout the year. They were often fed to livestock twice daily. The main constraints affecting adoption of crop residues and agro-industrial byproducts were access to information, lack of knowledge, poor infrastructures, high cost of transportation of material, storage and conservation facilities, the toxicity of material and plant diseases, high cost of products, microbial infestation and the insufficient supply of the material. Improving the utilization of crop residues and agro-industrial byproducts in the livestock feeding system in these territoires should tackle the above mentioned factors for sufficient utilization.
Objective: We sought to document outcomes and factors associated with surgical success in hospitals supported by the Fistula Care Plus Project in the DRC, 2017-2019. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study analyzing routine repair data on women with Female Genital Fistula. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with successful fistula repair. Results: 895 women were included in this study, with a mean age of 34 years (±13 years). The majority were married or in union (57.4%) and living in rural areas (82.0%), while nearly half were farmers (45.9%). The average duration living with fistula was eight years (±7). Vesicovaginal (70.5%) and complex (59.8%) fistulas were the most common fistula types. Caesarean section (34.7%), obstructed labor (27.0%), and prolonged labour (23.0%) were the main aetiologies, with the causal deliveries resulting in stillbirth in 88% of cases. The vaginal route (74.9%) was the primary route for surgerical repair. The median duration of bladder catheterization after surgery was 14 days (IQR 7-21). Multivariate analysis revealed that Waaldijk type I fistula (aOR:2.71, 95% CI:1.36-5.40), no previous surgery (aOR:2.63, 95% CI:1.43-3.19), repair at Panzi Hospital (aOR :2.71, 95% CI:1.36 - 5.40), and bladder catheterization for less than 10 days (aOR:13.94, 95% CI: 4.91 - 39.55) or 11-14 days (aOR: 6.07, 95% CI: 2.21 - 15.31) were associated with better repair outcomes. Conclusion: The Fistula Care Plus Project in the DRC recorded good fistula repair outcomes. However, further efforts are needed to promote adequate management of fistula cases.
Species distribution models (SDMs) have become tools of great importance in ecology, as advanced knowledge of suitable species habitat is required for the process of global biodiversity conservation. Presence-only data are the more abundant and readily available data widely used in SDM applications. These data should be treated as a thinned Poisson process to account for detection errors related to sampling bias and imperfect detection that arise in them. Failure to do so could be detrimental to SDM's predictions. This study assesses the effects of the species abundance, the variation in detection probability, and the number of sites visited in planned surveys on the performance of SDMs accounting for detection errors using simulated data. The results show that the accuracy and precision of estimates differ depending on models and species abundance. Their main difference lies in their ability to estimate 0 , the model intercept. The lower the species abundance, the higher the bias and variance of ̂0. Furthermore, the lower the detection probability, the higher the bias and variance of ̂0. However, 1 , the slope parameter, is estimated with almost high accuracy and precision for all models. This study demonstrates the low efficiency of accounting for sampling bias and imperfect detection based on presence-only data alone. Analysing presence-only data in conjunction with point-count outperformed the other approaches, whatever the species abundance, as long as the detection probability is at least 0.25 with average values of detectability covariates. The acceptable accuracy and precision, the minimum number of sites to consider vary depending on species abundance. At least 200 sites are required for the rare species, whereas 50 sites can suffice for the abundant species. Since collecting high-quality data are very expensive, this study emphasizes the need to promote initiatives such as citizen science programs that aim to collect species occurrence data with as little bias as possible.
This article assesses the opinions of youth tomato growers on the accessibility of agricultural credit and factors that influence the accessibility in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Data originated from a household survey for the 2019/2020 farming season. We interviewed 218 youth tomato growers from 6 horticulture production zones in the South-Kivu, eastern DRC. The result reveals a low rate of 20.6% on accessing agricultural credit among tomato growers. The topmost nature of agricultural credit received was cash-based, mostly from informal sources of finance (92.7%). The findings reveal that the lack of information on agricultural credit, the fear of credit default, and the absence of Microfinance Institutions in the study areas were the highest-ranking factors hindering tomato growers from accessing agricultural credit services. Our probit model shows that total household income, gender, and tomato growers' membership in a cooperative were essential factors that explain the probability of accessing agricultural credit. We recommend formalising the agricultural credit system by improving agri-finance extension service delivery to associations of tomato growers among the young to access and use agricultural microcredit services effectively to enhance agricultural production, which is a proxy for rural employment creation and poverty reduction.
This study was conducted to contribute to improvement and sustainable development of Congolese cities, particularly Bukavu city. GIS and Remote Sensing technics were used to estimate the built-up suitable areas in Bukavu taking into account the slopes, rivers, exclusion zones, protected zones, lakes, roads, identified landslides areas, erosion and flooding. These exclusion areas were subtracted from the total city area to determine the suitable areas. 2030 and 2050 population projections were made based on 2016 estimations. The results obtained show that only 68.6% (∼29.7 Km²) are suitable for built-up. Based on 2016 estimation, the population will double by 2030 and triple by 2050. While the areas that can be developed for settlements can accommodate only ∼186 000 people, the surplus will be relocated in two selected satellite cities, namely Nyatende and Miti-Murhesa centres, having ∼38 and ∼125 km² of suitable areas respectively. Both vertical and horizontal development with an average plot size of 350 m² would reduce the negative impacts and ensure a sustainable city environment. To maintain the sustainability of Bukavu and its former name of “green city”, both horizontal and mixed extensions will be considered while the two selected zones have to be well planned for new satellites cities and new Bukavu city development.
Objectives : Using whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 to identify variants circulating in DRC and obtaining molecular information useful for diagnosis, improving treatment and general pandemic control strategies. Methods : Seventy-four SARS-CoV-2 isolates were sequenced using Oxford Nanopore platforms. Generated reads were processed to obtain consensus genome sequences. Sequences with over 80% genome coverage were used for variant calling, phylogenetic analysis and classification using pangolin lineage annotation nomenclature. Results : Phylogenetic analysis based on Pangolin classification clustered South Kivu sequences into seven lineages (A.23.1, B.1.1.6, B.1.214, B.1.617.2, B.1.351, C.16 and P.1). The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was the most dominant and responsible for outbreaks during the third wave. Based on Wuhan reference genome a total of 289 distinct mutations were detected including 141 missenses, 123 synonymous and 25 insertions/deletions when our isolates were mapped to Wuhan reference strain. The majority of these point mutations were located within the coding sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 genome that includes Spike, ORF1ab, ORF3, and nucleocapsid protein (N) genes. The most common mutation was D614G (1841A>G) observed in 61 sequences followed by L4715L (14143C>T) found in 60 sequences. Conclusion : Our findings highlight multiple introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into South Kivu through different sources and subsequent circulation of variants in the province. These results emphasize the importance of timely monitoring of genetic variation and its effect on disease severity. This work set a foundation for the use of genomic surveillance as a tool for future global pandemic management and control.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with clinical manifestation cases that are almost similar to those of common respiratory viral infections. This study determined the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and other acute respiratory viruses among patients with flu-like symptoms in Bukavu city, Democratic Republic of Congo. We screened 1352 individuals with flu-like illnesses seeking treatment in 10 health facilities. Nasopharyngeal swab specimens were collected to detect SARS-CoV-2 using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and 10 common respiratory viruses were detected by multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. Overall, 13.9% (188/1352) of patients were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. Influenza A 5.6% (56/1352) and Influenza B 0.9% (12/1352) were the most common respiratory viruses detected. Overall, more than two cases of the other acute respiratory viruses were detected. Frequently observed symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 positivity were shivering (47.8%; OR = 1.8; CI: 0.88–1.35), cough (89.6%; OR = 6.5, CI: 2.16–28.2), and myalgia and dizziness (59.7%; OR = 2.7; CI: 1.36–5.85). Moreover, coinfection was observed in 12 (11.5%) specimens. SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A were the most cooccurring infections, accounting for 33.3% of all positive cases. This study demonstrates cases of COVID-19 infections cooccurring with other acute respiratory infections in Bukavu city during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, testing for respiratory viruses should be performed in all patients with flu-like symptoms for effective surveillance of the transmission patterns in the COVID-19 affected areas for optimal treatment and effective disease management.
Understanding local knowledge and practices of soil and water conservation is essential for designing and implementing cost-effective and sustainable erosion control programs, and thus reducing soil erosion adverse impacts on agricultural lands. This study investigated the farmers' perception of soil erosion challenges, knowledge on management, and practices implemented in smallholder farms in northern Kabare, South-Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Data was collected through individual interviews with 257 randomly selected farmers, coupled with focus group discussions. Results showed that soil erosion was a common phenomenon in more than three-quarters (76%) of surveyed farms. Eleven soil conservation techniques (SCT) were known by farmers, of which, only six were routinely implemented on farms: mulching (36% farms), continuous or tied ridges (26% farms), hedges (19% farms), channels and drains (10% farms); infiltration ditches (4% farms), and terraces (2% farms). The effectiveness of each soil conservation strategy at the farm level depended on the number of techniques simultaneously practiced by a farmer, the farm location along the slope, the integration of livestock into farming systems, the farmer's main activity and income level, and more importantly, the farmer knowledge on soil erosion control measures. Farmer participation in farmers' associations (or cooperatives) was instrumental in his/her ability to control erosion at the farm level in the study area. This study was one of the few that tackled the role played by farmers’ perception on the adoption of SCT in eastern DRC and opens an avenue in developing programs associating scientific and indigenous knowledge for sustainable soil erosion control.
Raha Maroyi,1,2 Ajay Rane,3 Lynsey Hayward,4 Chasinga Baharanyi,2,5 Bwihangane Birindwa Ahadi,2 Denis Mukwege1,2 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Panzi General Referral Hospital, Bukavu, The Democratic Republic of Congo; 2Université Evangélique en Afrique (UEA), Bukavu, The Democratic Republic of Congo; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia; 4Department of Urogynaecology, Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand; 5Department of Pathology, Panzi General Referral Hospital, Bukavu, The Democratic Republic of CongoCorrespondence: Raha Maroyi, Université Evangélique en Afrique (UEA), P.O. Box 3323, Bukavu, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Tel +243997254812, Email firstname.lastname@example.orgAbstract: We report an unusual case of female genital fistula secondary to a lobular capillary hemangioma. A 35-year-old Congolese woman presented with urinary incontinence associated with a vaginal “tearing” sensation during micturition. A suburethral vascular bud and vesico-vaginal fistula were observed on examination. Over 2 weeks, the fistula enlarged to involve the trigone and bladder neck, resulting in a semi-circumferential urethro-vesico-vaginal fistula. Histology revealed a lobular capillary hemangioma. During fistula repair, the edges with vascular clusters were freshened, the genital fistula was closed and the woman became continent of urine.Keywords: vesico-vaginal fistula, female genital fistula, lobular capillary hemangioma, etiology, surgical procedure
This study aimed at assessing haplotype diversity and population dynamics of three Congolese indigenous goat populations that included Kasai goat (KG), small goat (SG), and dwarf goat (DG) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The 1169 bp d-loop region of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was sequenced for 339 Congolese indigenous goats. The total length of sequences was used to generate the haplotypes and evaluate their diversities, whereas the hypervariable region (HVI, 453 bp) was analyzed to define the maternal variation and the demographic dynamic. A total of 568 segregating sites that generated 192 haplotypes were observed from the entire d-loop region (1169 bp d-loop). Phylogenetic analyses using reference haplotypes from the six globally defined goat mtDNA haplogroups showed that all the three Congolese indigenous goat populations studied clustered into the dominant haplogroup A, as revealed by the neighbor-joining (NJ) tree and median-joining (MJ) network. Nine hap-lotypes were shared between the studied goats and goat populations from Pakistan (1 haplotype), Kenya, Ethiopia and Algeria (1 haplotype), Zimbabwe (1 haplotype), Cameroon (3 haplotypes), and Mozambique (3 haplotypes). The population pairwise analysis (F ST) indicated a weak differentiation between the Congolese indigenous goat
Moringa oleifera Lam. is one of the most used plants in traditional medicine because of its high antioxidant properties. The antioxidant value, nonetheless, depends on locality where the plant is grown as well as specific parts on the plant. In this study, a phytochemical and antioxidant activity comparison of M. oleifera leaves, seeds and barks were carried out. Fresh leaves, seeds and barks were collected from 2 to 3 years old M. oleifera trees of Bukavu city of South Kivu province in DRC and Masii village of Machackos County in Kenya. A total of 300g of each dried sample powder was mixed with 700 mL of distilled water. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of alkaloids, saponins, phenols, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenoids and tannins were performed following standard methods while the antioxidant activity was assessed using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Results indicate that only alkaloids were absent in leaves from Kenya and DRC while phenols, flavonoids and tannins were absent in barks. Glycoside in seeds from DRC had the highest concentration (6.17%) followed by alkaloids in seeds from Kenya (5.56%). There was low concentration of terpenoids and flavonoids in all samples compared to other compounds. The highest extract yield was found in leaves from DR Congo (22.5%) and seeds from Kenya (20%). At the highest concentration (10 µg/mL), leaves from Kenya (88.29±1.12 µg/mL) and DRC (80.17±3.59 µg/mL) had the highest percentage inhibition of reactive oxygen-free radicals but lower than the reference standard (92.63±2.76 µg/mL). Leaves from Kenya (23.59 μg/mL) and DRC (28.67 μg/mL) had the highest IC50 compared to mean values of seeds and barks from the two countries. M. oleifera leaves, especially from Kenya, are recommended as a satisfactory antioxidant but can be substituted with seeds and/or barks in order to alleviate the use of leaves which are overused these days.
Yam (Dioscorea spp.) is a staple crop for millions of people in the tropics and subtropics. Its genetic improvement through breeding is being challenged by pre-zygotic and post-zygotic cross-compatibility barriers within and among species. Studies dissecting hybridization barriers on yam for improving the crossability rates are limited. This study aimed to assess the cross-compatibility, which yielded fruit set, viable seeds and progeny plants in an extensive intraspecific and interspecific crossing combinations in a yam genetic improvement effort to understand the internal and exogenous factors influencing pollination success. Cross-compatability was analyzed at the individual genotype or family level using historical data from crossing blocks and seedling nurseries from 2010 to 2020 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The average crossability rate (ACR) was lower in interspecific crossing combinations (6.1%) than intraspecific ones (27.6%). The seed production efficiency (SPE) values were 1.1 and 9.3% for interspecific and intraspecific crosses, respectively. Weather conditions and pollinator's skills are the main contributors to the low success rate in the intraspecific cross combinations in yam breeding. At the same time, genetic distance and heterozygosity played little role. Interspecific cross barriers were both pre-zygotic and post-zygotic, resulting from the evolutionary divergence among the yam species. Dioscorea rotundata had higher interspecific cross-compatibility indices than D. alata. Distant parents produced intraspecific crossbred seeds with higher germination rates compared to closest parents (r = 0.21, p = 0.033). This work provided important insights into interspecific and intraspecific cross-compatibility in yam and suggested actions for improving hybridization practices in yam breeding programs.
Soil erosion is a major concern for the agricultural production as it leads to topsoil losses and decreased soil fertility, especially in highland regions. Walungu’s Chisheke watershed supports the staple food and industrial tea production, which are the basis for the food and income security in the region. The Chisheke watershed’s soil loss estimate is, therefore, vital for its sustainable management to maximize benefit to farmers and the region economy which is heavily dependent on tea products and sub-products’ export. To facilitate the implementation of an erosion management plan, this study estimated soil losses in the Chisheke watershed using the Revised Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Besides, it assessed the land-use and land cover change impacts on the soil erosion as well as the farmer's perception on the currently experienced watershed soil erosion. Results showed that soil losses varied from 0 to 400 t ha−1 yr−1, with an average of 24 t ha−1 yr−1. The soil loss rates depended on the land-use and land cover changes. The highest soil losses were those from settlements (60 t ha−1 yr−1) and bare soils (45 t ha−1 yr−1) while agriculture and tea plantation (8.5 t ha−1 yr−1) and forest (6.5 t ha−1 yr−1) recorded lower soil losses. However, extreme soil erosive risks were observed in steep slope agricultural lands. Farmers acknowledged the soil erosion as a major concern in their area and used the soil and water conservation practices to mitigate its negative effects. The predominant soil and water conservation practices included the manure (72%), compost (57%) and green manure (45%) applications as well as the promotion of mashes and wetlands for vegetable crop production. The soil erosion maps provided in this study are valuable resources to effectively implement sustainable soil erosion management strategies in the Chisheke watershed and other areas with similar agro-ecological conditions.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) establish a mutualistic symbiosis with several plants and play a key role in improving plant growth, tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses as well as the soil structure. This work aimed at elucidating the AMF temperature stress modulating impact on four pearl millet lines plant growth and soil aggregation. Experimental trials were carried out in both greenhouse and growth chamber to determine the response of the four millet lines to inoculation with two AMF strains (Rhizophagus aggregatus and Funneliformis mosseae) under heat and non-stress conditions. We first investigated the mycorrhizal colonization (MC) and the mycorrhizal growth response (MGR) of millet lines in relation with their soil aggregation potential (root adhering soil/root biomass, MAS/RB) in the greenhouse. Secondly, the four millet lines were grown in two separated growth chambers and subjected to a day/night temperature of 32/28 °C as the control treatment and 37/32 °C as the temperature stress treatment. Plant growth, mycorrhization rate and several physiological, mycorrhizal and soil parameters were measured. Results showed that the mycorrhization rates of millet lines were low and not significantly different. Funneliformis mosseae (31.39%) showed higher root colonization than Rhizophagus aggregatus (22.79%) and control (9.79%). The temperature stress reduced the mycorrhizal colonization rate, shoot and root biomass, and the soil aggregation for all tested lines. L220 and L132 showed more MC rate and MGR than the other lines under control and high-temperature treatment. The MGR was significantly better under temperature stress conditions than in the control. Under the temperature stress conditions, inoculation with R. aggregatus and F. mosseae increased chlorophyll concentration, root dry weight and shoot dry weight as compared to non-inoculated plants. AMF inoculation, particularly with F. mosseae had a positive influence on the tolerance of millet lines to temperature stress. This study demonstrates that AMF play an important role in the response of these four millet lines to temperature stress. AMF is therefore an important component in the adaptation of crops to climatic variations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the South-Kivu province, wetlands are mainly converted into farmlands to ensure food and income security among rural populations. This study aimed at assessing the land use and land cover (LULC) change for the last three decades (1990–2020) in South-Kivu wetlands; mainly the Hogola and Chisheke, in Walungu territory, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Socio-economic determinants of LULC in the two wetlands were also assessed. Google earth (CNI/airbus) and airborne images were used for LULC while socio-economic data were collected through a survey questionnaire from 369 households. The Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) model allowed assessing factors determining conversion of wetlands' use. For the last three decades, there were 30 and 40% decreases in the acreage covered by Hogola and Chisheke wetlands, respectively, as a result of rapid farmland expansion and brick making. Farmers perceived wetlands as wastelands and thus unfit for agriculture and brick making activities. These two activities provided significant monetary benefits to wetland users while the profitability of agriculture was dependent on practiced crops. The conversion of wetlands into farmlands was driven by annual household income, wetland utilization patterns, households' main activity and the seniority in exploiting wetlands. The perception of wetlands as degraded and wastelands, the exploited acreage and the farmer gender had also influenced significantly wetland conversions. On the other hand, perceiving wetlands as wastelands depended on the age of the household head, whether brick making activities were envisaged, the household's main activity and crop; and the wetland traditional/cultural values in the South-Kivu province. Though generating significantly higher annual incomes than any other land use in target wetlands, the conversion of wetlands for agriculture and brick making, under the current practices, is unsuitable for their sustainable management (use), as recommended to achieve the RAMSAR objectives of “wise use” of wetlands.
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