Rwanda: On the shores of Lake Kivu

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Imagine a lake so vast and so deep it is practically a sea. Imagine turquoise waters surrounded by emerald-green hills covered with fields and forests. Imagine shores dotted with people: fishermen praising their catch of the day at the top of their voice and women in colourful garments examining the fish and bargaining without mercy.

Welcome to Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes located between Rwanda and Congo (DRC). It stretches 89 km long and 48 km wide, and reaches 500 m deep. Lake Kivu is not only one of the world’s largest and deepest lakes, but it is also one of only three known ‘exploding lakes’. Occasionally, the methane trapped underwater erupts pushing a cloud of carbon dioxide to the surface. This means that a swimmer that finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time can get asphyxiated.

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Rwanda: 20 years after

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“My mother and two little brothers were burned alive while trying to escape to Burundi. My older brother was stoned – they put the kids in a ditch and unloaded a truck full of stones onto them. My father was killed with a machete by our next-door neighbour. He’s an old guy now. I still see him whenever I go back to my home town. We exchange hellos.

I’m the only survivor. I survived because I was living with my grandparents at that time.”

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