Congo

3

The RD du Congo is that huge green spot in the centre of the African continent. It’s a country with a sad past. This summer they had elections for the first time in 30 years. Kabila Jr and Bemba were the two main candidates. Finally Kabila made it. I went to Likasi, a small town (200 000 villagers), above Lubumbashi, the second biggest city of Congo (2 million people).

The RD du Congo is that huge green spot in the centre of the African continent. It’s a country with a sad past. This summer they had elections for the first time in 30 years. Kabila Jr and Bemba were the two main candidates. Finally Kabila made it. I went to Likasi, a small town (200 000 villagers), above Lubumbashi, the second biggest city of Congo (2 million people).

From there you can go into the “brousse”, inlands. Beware the national road is more like what we call a little path on the fields – elephants, huge holes, tons of dust. If you want to move around a bit, you need a Jeep or a motorcycle. I did it on a fully loaded truck. It took us 28 hours to do 200km. The villagers are very kind and welcoming, but a little afraid and astonished to see a white boy up there. There is of course no electricity or whatever, so the nights are really dark! Never saw that much stars in the sky! Anyway, that little trip was very nice, and so is Likasi. In the summer there is always some people partying, you can get a lot of fresh products on the markets… The trouble with Congo is that it is a structural mess! There is no post-office, the roads are mostly gone or very badly maintained, the cops and military don’t get their wages, so you get a gun pointed at you five times a day, so you can pay them for a “safe passage”! Everything that was built up there by the Belgian colonists has been destroyed or not maintained.

For example I went visiting the old cupper-mines where my granddads used to work. It is running at 10% now, the rest is destroyed. Square kilometres of rust steel, a colossal structure! Lubumbashi on the other hand is a very big African city, no tall buildings, but with a very big “banlieu”. The suburbs are divided into 4 cité’s. Monday cité 1 has electricity, Tuesday cité 2, and so on… There is absolutely no agglomeration plan, so you can build your toilet in front of your neighbour’s front door! And of course a lot of poverty, HIV, kids that die of malaria, prostitution… Very interesting, but very troubled country to go to. And a very big experience to have…

written by deodatus on 2008-05-09 #places #culture #food #shop #location

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3 Comments

  1. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Superb shots!

  2. -a-l-b-e-r-t-o-
    -a-l-b-e-r-t-o- ·

    superafrica

  3. majorted
    majorted ·

    great shots, love seeing unexpected locations like this one!

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