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Hydrography and Navigation on the Congo River: A Century of Visual History (Hardcover)

Hydrography and Navigation on the Congo River: A Century of Visual History By Paul Van Pul Cover Image
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In a time without GPS and echosounder, European engineers and black labourers worked for decades to get a better understanding of the nautical intricacies of the Congo River. This is the first comprehensive story, in text and custom-made maps, of the, in flow, second largest river in the world. We follow the earliest explorers mapping the river, the expeditions to find an alternative access to the ocean and the first land and hydraulic surveys to improve navigation. The constant movement of shallows and islands keeps the guardians of the river constantly on their toes. Over the years, better technologies on all fronts improved safety, data collection and fairway maintenance. In conclusion, the author describes a proposal to develop a 21st container port that would rival any port facilities on the African west coast.

About the Author

The author, a Belgian Land Surveyor, has a lifelong, technical affiliation with rivers. First as a teenager cruising on the Dutch Waterways and later investigating and publishing about the post-war expansion of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, his hometown. Even since living in Canada, he did not give up on his Low Countries roots. His first books concerned inundating large tracts of land to stop an invading army -- a very appropriate subject in today's geopolitical environment. His latest book told the story of a failed attempt to build the first hydropower dam in his adopted Canadian Province of Saskatchewan. With this new project, he returns to Belgium and its once colony, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He analyses a century of hydraulic research and navigation in Central Africa. With his knack for drafting, the story brims with custom-made maps and charts depicting the evolution of water transport in the Congo River basin. Along the way, he tells the forgotten story of how the Congo almost became a land-locked country and, with his lifelong knowledge of Historic River Engineering, he even proposes a plan to vastly enhance the nautical access to this great and promising African country.

Product Details
ISBN: 9783031410642
ISBN-10: 3031410645
Publisher: Springer
Publication Date: September 15th, 2023
Pages: 205
Language: English