D. R. of Congo: The hazards of neglect

Congoblog is a marvel. Every post deserves a mention, but here are some of the more arresting posts to have appeared so far in January:

From Kisangani, Boyomais laments the ‘disastrous’ conditions in his country's health clinics, where “the order of the day well known to all is: no money, no care”.

by Luba for Congoblog.net

by Luba for Congoblog.net

The wife of one patient complains that:

Nous avons du mal à fermer l’œil la nuit tellement il y a des moustiques. Mon mari a des problèmes d’estomac mais, dans ces conditions, il n’est pas surprenant qu’il soit atteint de la malaria dans cet hôpital. Les moustiquaires que nous avons trouvé ne servent plus à rien car il a des trous partout.

There are so many mosquitoes that we can hardly close our eyes at night. My husband has stomach problems but in these conditions, it won't be surprising if he catches malaria in this hospital. The mosquito nets that we found are useless as they're full of holes.

From the capital, Mwana Kin reports on a lethal hazard arising from disrepair:

Au fil des années, les câbles de la SNEL sont sortis de terre et arpentent les rues des principaux quartiers. Les jours de pluie, le mélange explosif entre le non fonctionnement du système d’évacuation des eaux et la présence des câbles dans la rue fait plusieurs victimes.

Over the years, the cables of SNEL [the national electricity company] have come out of the ground and run along the roads of the main residential areas. When it rains, the explosive mix of the lack of drainage and the presence of these cables claims many victims.

As the prospect of elections in 2011 looms, Cédric Kalonji observes that:

La majorité des promesses électorales à la veille du scrutin de 2006 ne sont pas sortis de la boite à discours pour se matérialiser. La population se rend progressivement compte qu’elle a été roulée. Loin d’être dupes, honorables et excellences pensent déjà à la suite. Tous les moyens sont bons pour conserver une place au chaud, à l’abri de tous les tracas auxquels les congolais ordinaires font face au quotidien.

The majority of 2006 electoral promises haven't materialised. The population is realising it's been taken for a ride. Far from being foolish, the ‘honorables and excellencies’ are already thinking ahead. No means are off-limits in order to keep a comfortable place, sheltered from all the daily hassles faced by ordinary Congolese.

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