Saturday, March 29, 2014

DR Congo: " Just another empty gesture with an empty glass "

Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports ( Translated by a translation service and cleaned up by me. The author Chantal should be familiar to regular readers of this blog. I have resisted the temptation yo comment ).

Living near a large lake and dying of thirst
By Chantal Faida, Goma




March 22 was World Water Day. In Goma, DRC, there are voices demanding that special attention be paid to the problem of access to safe drinking water.

In an interview with a local radio Misona Gautier, president of the Civil Society in the city of Goma, suggests that the issue of water should be a popular topic: "Access to water is an inalienable right . The  people of the DRC should think about building public awareness through non-violent protests - peaceful marches, public statements, etc. -demanding the right to safe drinking water "

The ongoing water shortage 

More than a problem, the recurrent water shortages in the Congo in general and Goma in particular have become a disaster. To believe the 2013 annual report of UNICEF , 37 million Congolese do not have access to drinking water and the numbers are growing.

Improper water causes diseases

There is reason to wonder what use all that water 
serves us. With regard to the city of Goma, it is a paradox to live beside the majestic Lake Kivu and die of thirst.

In most residential areas of the town at the foot of the volcano, the taps are dry. The humanitarian consequences are unpleasant. The consumption of unsafe water (untreated water lake) is the cause of waterborne diseases. Fetching water early in the morning or late at night is dangerous, travelling very long distances on foot, with all the risks that may incur, such as kidnapping, rape and even murder.

The State is always absent when needed

"Our teams are hard at work to address this glaring lack of water in Goma, just a little patience," this is the standard excuse from the local authorities when we the problem of water shortages is mentioned.

There is no master plan for water, no water code, no reconstruction of damaged infrastructure for water, no development of a public water supply, in short, there is no way to deal with this issue that affects all of the local population.

Youth engagement

Meanwhile, some young people involved in the fight for positive change in Congo, Lucha - are planning to hold a day of demonstrations shortly, outside government offices to demand that the water flows back into the taps.

Welcome Matumo, a Lucha  activist advocates this action: "It is not a favor we will ask them, but it's a demand to restore our rights. Water is life. We have the right to life. For a long time people have had only half measures, we want sustainable solutions. "

Chantal's Blog is here   

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