Barge in Bilili port
A barge in Bilili harbor waiting for the last cargo before 
heading down the Kwilu which will, in turn join the Kasai river 
before flowing into the Congo river on its way to Kinshasa. 

Dwarf palm plantation

 Only 40-60 km north of Kikwit, a group of farmers in the town of Molembe, planted dwarf oil palms.   These trees are around ten years old and are in the peak of production and can have up to 6 bunches of palm huts growing on them at any given time. 

Palm nuts

The dwarf palm produces fruit that has more oil content  than regular oil palms.  One can see the thick layer of oil rich pulp around the relatively small seed. 

Local palm oil press "malaxeur"

Not far from Kikwit on the banks of the Kwilu, oil palm plantation owners work to process their fruit.  Fruit is first cooked in big metal oil barrels and then dumped into a locally made press called "malaxeur".  The cooked fruit is churned in the press and the resulting oil flows into a collection pit.  The oil floats to the top and is skimmed off and put in barrels.  The barrels are then put on boats destined for either Kikwit or Kinshasa. 

Road at entrance to Kikwit

 The road from Kinshasa at the entrance to the town of Kikwit has deteriorated to such an extent that it becomes impassable after heavy rains.  

Erosion in Kikwit

Erosion has become a serious problem in Kikwit.   More than 1,000 homes have fallen into over 30 erosion provoked ravines throughout Kikwit.   

Roadside in Kikwit

 The asphalt road right on the outskirts of Kikwit are showing signs of erosion damage and risk cutting the town off from Kinshasa to the west.

Hillside in Kikwit

Some of the hills surrounding Kikwit are zoned for housing without taking into consideration the effects the zoning will have on the land in terms of erosion. 

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