Bunia is located in the province of Ituri in northeastern DR Congo, a region that has been ravaged for years by extreme violence by armed militias. Like in many other cities, the population of Bunia is growing rapidly. The families are abundant, but there is also a massive influx of refugees from surrounding villages seeking the safety and better economic situation of the city.
Ituri is far from the political power hub in the capital Kinshasa and the population feels excluded from government support. Yet the needs are enormous: the rapidly increasing number of inhabitants is putting great pressure on the drinking water systems. The provincial government cannot keep up with demand and many residents are without drinking water. They have to queue for hours at the water points or travel for miles. As a result, children don’t go to school and adults do not have enough time to earn an income.
Today it is very difficult for NGOs to work in the province of Ituri. Employees are under threat from armed rebel groups and are therefore unable to go to rural areas. If the security situation improves, we can plan for additional drinking water programs outside the city.
Despite being terrorised, the population is standing firm. Some drinking water systems are more than 30 years old and still work, thanks to good maintenance by the drinking water users and management committees.
What we do
Together with the organisations CIDRI and SAGE, we set up initiatives that improve access to drinking water. A selection of our activities:
- We are expanding the drinking water infrastructure in Bunia.
- We support proper management of the existing and new infrastructure, so that it continues to work properly.
- We support the population in the process of claiming their right to water from the government.
These initiatives are part of a broader program in DR Congo that aims to keep clean and sufficient water available for people and nature alike. Efforts are being made to protect water resources, access to drinking water, and water for food production.