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Democratic Republic of the Congo: drinking water for the people of Kongolo

26-11-2007 News Release 07/47

The Kongolo city pumping station and drinking water treatment and supply plant, which the ICRC and the Redigeso (the national water authority) have just restored to working order, was inaugurated on 23 November.

The ceremony was attended by Yav Tshibal, the vice-governor of Katanga, Fridolin Kasweshi, the provincial minister of infrastructure, Mukalayi Mwema, the Regideso managing director, Vincent Tshianga, the Regideso provincial technology officer and Arnaud Leclerc, the ICRC representative in Katanga.

Kongolo, which is the capital of Kongolo territory in Katanga province and has a population of 57,000, has suffered the effects of armed conflicts that have ravaged the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996. The city’s pumping station and drinking water treatment and supply plant, which entered service in 1954, had been damaged, leaving the city without any facility to supply drinking water. For years, this state of affairs was the cause of water-related disease and cholera epidemics. Kongolo’s population was reduced to drawing water from the River Congo and shallow wells, which were sometimes polluted.

The ICRC and the Regideso worked in partnership to repair the drinking-water supply system and the water production, storage and distribution facilities with a view to achieving a daily capacity of 1,300 cubic metres.

The ICRC renovated the buildings and the water tower, provided catchment and delivery pumps, a generator and accessories for repairing the water supply system, and transported all of the materials and equipment to the various sites. The Regideso installed the new settling tank, built sand filters, repaired the mains network and constructed 12 water distribution points.

The ICRC’s priority is to provide the victims of armed conflict with better access to drinking water and health care. This is just one of the organization’s many activities aiming to restore the social and economic fabric in Katanga by upgrading infrastructure hard hit by years of conflict.

    

 For further information, please contact:  

 Arnaud Leclerc, ICRC Lubumbashi, tel. +243 81 275 65 67  

 Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Kinshasa, tel. +243 81 700 85 36