Bukavu/South Kivu / Democratic Republic of Congo

Rehabilitation of roads, bridges and air strips

Even after the end of the Second Congolese War (1998 to 2003), the Democratic Republic of Congo is in some parts still far away from peaceful conditions. Again and again, regional armed conflicts including robbery, looting, rape and murder erupt in the northeast and east of the country, where the province of South Kivu is situated. The welfare system of the country counts among the worst in the world. The constant flare-up of battles between armed groups and the national army has a tremendous impact on the humanitarian situation. Aggression, malnutrition and illnesses cost millions of lives. Since 1996, Malteser International in close cooperation with local partners and supported by international donors provides an integrative programme including medical, nutritional, infrastructural and psycho-social projects.

Access is essential, first to bring the humanitarian assistance to the population, and later for the population to have access to medicine, to hospitals, markets, towns. Therefore, the well-being and health of any population relies on traffic routes such as roads. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are still huge areas which are disconnected from the rest of the country, such as Mulungu in the province of South Kivu. 

No road leads to the about 180,000 people living in Mulungu. Only by plane and after several day-long walks, food stuff, medicine and other goods can be delivered to them. Thus, the health situation is much worse in this territory than in others: the number of children under five dying per month is nearly four times higher in Mulungu than in other health zones of South Kivu. One air strip has been rehabilitated by Malteser International in 2007. To better the living conditions of these people, Malteser International furthermore reconstructs an old, destroyed road, leading right through the territory of Mulungu and connecting this area with the rest of South Kivu. As direct beneficiaries of the project, 6,539 persons receive cash for work as daily workers and, thus, can increase the family income. 

Since 2004, Malteser International is reconstructing and maintaining traffic routes in South Kivu: until July 2007, 220 kilometres have already been finished including numerous bridges, the longest reaching around 20 meters. 

A road toll system for cars and trucks using the roads, so far supported by Malteser International, will make sure that in the future roads can be maintained and kept in good condition by the local government without external support. 

Re-opening access to the remote areas for international help

  • Providing the needed material and technical equipment
  • Paying the daily workers for road construction
  • Supervising the construction works
  • Training for supervision staff
  • Implementing a road toll in cooperation with the local government
Project data
Duration:2004 to 2009
Financing:Malteser International, OCHA, Pooled Fund
Partner:Local partner NGOs, local government