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Where we operate

DR Congo

(c) CIDRI

In terms total area, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the size of Western Europe. The vast country has a lot of natural resources, a lot of agricultural land, an immense biodiversity and the second largest rainforest after the Amazon.

Almost three quarters of the 60 million inhabitants have to make do with less than 2 dollars a day. Agriculture is the most important part of the economy for the Congolese.

In 2020, 1.3 million hectares of forests were lost, with harmful consequences for the environment, loss of biodiversity and the millions of people who see their livelihoods at risk.

50%

Less than 50% of the Congolese population has access to drinking water at home

15,9 million

Between 2001 and 2020, 15.9 million hectares of forest were lost in the DR Congo

In DR Congo, Join For Water is active in 3 provinces: Ituri, Tshopo and Kwilu.

The province of Ituri is located in the northeast, on the western shore of Lake Albert, with Uganda on the other side. An inter-ethnic conflict raged in Ituri from 1999 to 2007 that killed more than 50,000 people. At the end of 2021, the conflicts escalated once again. The provincial capital of Bunia burst at the seams due to the influx of refugees and is unable to meet the demand for more drinking water infrastructure.

In addition to Bunia, Join For Water in Ituri also works in the municipality of Nyamavi, which belongs to the Semliki catchment area. This zone is suffering from deforestation, mining, pollution as well as violent conflict.

In the province of Tshopo there is still a lot of primary rainforest and the rivers Tshopo and Lindi flow into the Congo River, among others. Polluting mining and erosion are detrimental to forest areas and waterways. An additional threat is deforestation for the purpose of gaining agricultural land. Join For Water focuses on the communities living in the Bafwasende area.

A large part of the Idiofa area in Kwilu province consists of savannah. Many rivers flow in the area, such as the tributaries of the Kasai and the kWilu.  Despite their presence, the population only has limited access to (drinking) water. In the city of Idiofa, the water supply is difficult. Moreover, due to deforestation, some sources disappear.

DR Congo Tshopo regenwoud
DR Congo has an enormous wealth of resources in terms of water and forest… (c) Harald van der Hoek

Activities

Join For Water continues to work on expanding the drinking water infrastructure in the districts of Bunia and on the professionalisation of the management thereof. CIDRI has been our experienced partner in this field since 1989.

We update the development plans for the catchment areas and work with local organisations to advocate for resource and river protection and sustainable use of water and land.

Join For Water engages in agroforestry with farmers and protects source areas by planting native tree species. The students are given environmental education in the schools.

Riverbanks are protected and areas of forest restored or protected, in order to optimise their role as an ecosystem. Sustainable exploitation of the rainforest and construction of drinking water infrastructure are also essential components of the activities in Tshopo and Kwilu, respectively with partner Tropenbos RDC and Faja Lobi.

Join For Water publishes research and experiences on aquatic ecosystems, resource use, protection of rights… BOS+ is an important partner in this.

 

What preceded

Join For Water has been active in DR Congo since 1982. The choice fell on the northeast, on the province of Ituri. Drinking water supply is a national right, but areas far from the capital are in danger of being left out. CIDRI, the Center de l’Initiation au Développement Rural de l’Ituri, was created in 1984, which is still the partner of Join For Water. Together we built more than 10 large drinking water systems in Ituri, the majority of which are still functioning.

Gradually, good management of the systems became the focus. Drinking water committees, made up of users, are responsible for inspection and repairs, for collecting the contributions and representing the users.

Between 2003 and 2008, Join For Water also worked in the Kivu region. Local NGOs shared knowledge and experience to improve the quality of infrastructure, protect water resources and provide better services to the population. Due to the poor security situation, Join For Water had to leave the zone.

 

Our partners in DR Congo

Story

Joining forces for water in Bunia

Getting drinking water from the tap is not as easy as it is for us. Families have to do their bit.

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16 km

of trenches had to be dug for the pipeline, which is a lot if you do it by hand

17

2 new kiosks were built in Bunia

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The population are the real owners of the drinking water system in Mahagi

In Mahagi, in the northeast, the drinking water system was in dire need of an upgrade. The local population is heavily involved.

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20

The drinking water system in Mahagi has already been working for more than 20 years

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