Congo: Perspectives After the Deadly Explosions
Last month, deadly explosions went off in Congo Brazzaville. Present in the country for ten years, GRET saw the projects is supported destroyed in the disaster.
On March 4, 2012, between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m., the city of Brazzaville was shaken by a series of explosions. According to the official version, a short circuit in the main electrical system at the Congolese army’s armory was the cause. Five strong explosions caused thousands of people to leave their houses in the neighborhoods of Talangaï (6th arrondissement) and Ouénzé (5th arrondissement). Officially, there were nearly 250 killed and 15,000 made homeless. The material damages have not yet been estimated, but many houses were destroyed in a radius of 5 to 6 kilometers.
Talangaï and Mfilou are historic intervention zones for GRET in Brazzaville. Several projects were conducted in the framework of the urban micro-project program (PMRU) from 2002 to 2006, and the community and associative micro-projects in Brazzaville (MICAB) from 2008 to 2011. All the infrastructures built by these projects were destroyed in the disaster: in Talangaï, the two collectors at the Fleuve Congo school, the two latrines in Yoro port, and the Lycée de la Révolution high school building renovated as part of the PMRU; in Ouénzé, the market latrines and the Avenir du Rail basketball club’s lighting system.
Recognized in Brazzaville for its urban development interventions, GRET was solicited. It will notably help local NGOs participate in the elaboration of projects to renovate drinking water supply systems, including in the destroyed neighborhoods. Talangaï is one of the zones targeted by GRET as part of the MICAB2 project, which has just been accepted by the European Union. Sectors and types of intervention remain to be defined.