Congo-Brazzaville: when electricity runs out

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With its 16,000 inhabitants, the Lékana district is the most isolated in the Plateaux department of central Congo. Not only is it difficult to access due to the deterioration of the road, but in addition, Lékana does not have a water supply system. A situation that will change because this city has just been connected to the electricity grid to the Imboulou dam, built and put into use ten years ago thanks to funding provided in part by China.

“Here in Lékana, the flow is really permanent. We are happy, because when there is power, there is development, and we can still move the structure forward. “

This testimony is from Rock Ngoulou Nkoua. The structure he is talking about, which he intends to develop, is a mini-pharmacy right in front of the integrated Lékana health center. The bulbs that run this business remain lit in daylight. The 35-year-old manager now has electricity 24 hours a day and plans to diversify his activities.

“Apart from my small mini-pharmacy, I now intend to install my devices to carry out my welding activities. We are in Lékana, which has become a small town, ”said Mr. Ngoulou Nkoua.

Thanks to the flow from the dam, small economic activities will occur in Lékana, which according to local authorities has experienced a large exodus in recent years due to unemployment.

Many young people are striving to create peanut or squash crushers, cybercafes or even mini-cold rooms.

The teacher in his state Flavien Mbani Ganki intends to equip his house. “Yes, the house must be equipped with appliances such as a freezer, a refrigerator, a fan … My children watched TV from evening to morning because they are not used to seeing light as they do now”, the teacher rejoices.

Before Lékana was connected to the electricity grid, its inhabitants were supplied for five hours a day by a large generator.

At the Integrated Health Center, where she has worked as a midwife for 15 years, Denise Ndzama felt all the problems in the world to work. “As soon as the woman arrives, and when there is no electricity, we just take the torch, put the batteries in and turn it on, and I do my work. Despite the suffering with my torch, I have always had many people come to congratulate me because, for example, it is unthinkable to work with the torch in Brazzaville. It is with the torch that I have always developed with women (who come to give birth), ”testifies Mrs. Ndzama.

The Lékana stream is produced by the Imboulou dam, which since its commissioning in 2011 supplies many other districts on the Plateaux.

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