Source UNJLC
Theme Overland Transport, Sea and Rivers Transport
Countries Democratic Republic of the Congo
Document type Other
Publication date 19/10/2005

THE SNCC (Societe National de chemins de fer Congolais) in the EAST of DRC

Despite its name concerning railway, the SNCC is one of the main actors operating on the river and lake network in the east of DRC. The SNCC is a governmental owned company.

Transport assets

The Fleet in term of quantity and capacity the fleet of the SNCC is broken down as follow:

Tug boats and monopiece

Localisation Affected available operational
Lake Kivu 13 9 3
Lake Tanganyika 7 6 3
Middle reach 3 3 0
Upper reach 2 0 0


Localisation Affected available operational
Lake Kivu 31 27 15
Lake Tanganyika 14 10 5
Middle reach 15 3 0
Upper reach 3 0 0

Lake Kivu:

Push tugs:  Capacity between 350 tones/unit and 500 tones/ unit.
Barges: Capacity between 120-125 tones/unit and 350 tones /unit.
Cargo and passenger vessel: The Karisimbi 100 tones/ unit, Mikenu 125 tones/ unit.

Lake Tanganyika:

Push tugs: Capacity between 120 tones/unit and 2000 tones/ unit capacity.

Barges: Capacity between 120 tones/unit and 900 tones/unit capacity.

Passenger and Cargo vessels:
Le Zongue 2000 tones (push tug), Lukuka 600 tones (Push tug), Tembue 550 tones (push tug).

Ports served by the SNCC in the East of DRC

Lake Kivu
Bukavu, Goma and the Iojwi Island
The ports served on the Island are the following one:
Manvou, Kioumba, Bougaroula, Kachofou, Bukavu

The ports of Goma and Bukavu have docks and warehouse facilities approximate 700M2

Lake Tanganyika
The length of the Lake Tanganyika is 1435 km and connects the DRC with Zambia, Tanzania and Burundi.
From the Tanganyika the SNCC serve the following destinations:
Kalemie, Uvira, Moba, Kabimba, Bujumbura (Burundi), Kigoma (Tanzania), Pulungu (Zambia)


The port of Kalemie connects the SNCC network to the Tanzanian line Kigoma - Dar Es Salaam; The port of Kalemie has a capacity of 500 T/day with two shifts. It has 130 m of quay and 3 mobile cranes, but non functional, the vessels can not reach land, due to silting-ups.
The port is well equipped to meet the needs for transport but the effective capacity of the Tanzanian way is limited by the congestion at the port of Dar Es Salaam. The buildings of the port require rehabilitation.

Middle reach
The middle reach begins at Kindu passing by Ubundu and finishing at kisangani with a total length of 310 km.  The SNCC dosen't actually navigates on the middle reach due to the break down of their fleet.

Upper Reach

The Upper reach begins at Kongolo and run until Malemba-Nkulu, its length is around 390 km.
The SNCC does not operate on this reach.


Main problems encountered by the SNCC are the hard competition from the private sector and the lack of handling equipment. In most of the port the handling of equipment is carried out manually.
Degradation and out datedness of the sailing material and the harbour infrastructures. Degradations and deterioration of material and installations noted elsewhere touch the sailing material, the shipyards as well as the harbour infrastructures. The age of the sailing units varies between 29 and 99 years, that of the harbour cranes varies between 19 and 67 years. Moreover, certain quays suffer from disorders which are due to among other to the important overloads of the surface of storage and to the effects of the war.

In general, all the sailing material and the harbour infrastructures require a complete rehabilitation.