Congo: Entrepreneur delivers sustainable water provide to Goma | Africa | DW

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) holds half of the up to date water reserves of your full African continent, in step with UNICEF. Nevertheless not even half of the Congolese inhabitants has entry to clean ingesting water.

Entrepreneur Jack Kahorha didn’t have to accept that. So, 4 years prior to now, he and two buddies primarily based the water agency Yme Jibu in Goma, the capital of DRC’s North Kivu province.

“I knowledgeable myself that I’ve to do one factor so that Congolese get water, he knowledgeable DW. “Even after I start with 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 people — it’s a beginning.”

Entrepreneur Jack Kahorha in entrance of a water reservoir with Eugenie Fatuma Anyenyeri, who manages the tank

Rising attain

Yme Jibu serves 83,000 people on the outskirts of Goma, a metropolis of over 1 million. Subsequent yr, the number of locals benefiting from the clear water his agency distributes is anticipated to attain 140,000.

The company pumps water from Lake Kivu, treats it with chlorine, then passes it on to households and neighborhood faucets inside the metropolis districts.

There, primarily girls and women fill the water into jerrycans and carry them home on their backs. Yme Jibu generates two-thirds of its $400,000 (€355,000) turnover from the faucet enterprise.

It’s as a result of a private connection to the water present costs $860 — considered too expensive for a lot of Congolese.

Throughout the jap part of the nation, the inhabitants is particularly poor because of battle and arbitrariness decelerate efforts to understand prosperity.

Merchants are inclined to avoid the realm, so youthful people usually battle to hunt out work.

Primarily girls and women fill the water into jerrycans and carry them home on their backs

Help for refugees

Yme Jibu employs a employees of twenty-two and cooperates with 440 water retailers who perform the faucets and reservoirs inside the districts.

Kahorha wanted to influence prospects to pay for water. That’s because of the company emerged from help duties.

When the Nyiragongo volcano erupted in 2002, a Norwegian group constructed wells, faucets and pipelines to supply people who had fled city and misplaced their homes to the lava. After that, farmers fleeing militia fighters bought right here to the camps.

For better than 15 years, help organizations provided free ingesting water to the refugees and residents who lived near the camps.

Nevertheless an abrupt end loomed, Kahorha recounted: “In 2016, all donors decided to stop providing funds because of the emergency was declared to be over and the camps have been closed. There was the prospect that people is not going to have entry to ingesting water.”

A wooden structure on Lake Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo

Yme Jibu treats water from Lake Kivu for households and communities inside the metropolis districts

Sustainability factors

Many duties end up in ruins as help budgets dwindle.

Former diplomat and Africa expert Volker Seitz recalled conversations with worldwide donors. They estimated that solely one-fifth of the duties in African nations provided the inhabitants with a long-term revenue.

Statistics on this are lacking because of the long-term have an effect on is rarely evaluated. Nevertheless Kahorha’s experience confirmed points with the sustainability of plenty of water duties:

“Many communities is not going to be educated ample to maintain up companies. That’s the explanation they don’t work in the long run. I really feel the donors will be heartbroken within the occasion that they observed that that they’d spentmillions and had nearly nothing left behind.”

Yme Jibu is a definite story. As a result of the agency acquired its companies as donations from help organizations, it has modernized and expanded infrastructure.


Consuming water is pretty cheap for the poor inhabitants. A 20-liter jerrycan costs 100 francs to fill.

Households linked to the neighborhood pay 4,000 francs ($2.00, €1.78)  per cubic meter. Schools, hospitals and orphanages pay half that amount.

Yme Jibu earns an annual income of $20,000. The company’s earnings is ample for operation, repairs, water prime quality administration and new pumping stations and faucets.

Congolese shareholders invested an entire of $500,000.

Initially, a European investor participated. Nevertheless cultural variations and disputes over the compensation phrases of the borrowed capital led to a falling-out. Since then, Kahorha and his two Congolese companions each private a few third of the company.

They’ve taken out monetary establishment loans for this perform.

Children line up for water for residents displaced after Mount Nyiragongo erupts on May 29, 2021

Children line up for water for residents displaced after Mount Nyiragongo erupts on Would possibly 29, 2021

Good relations with help organizations

Kahorha described the company’s relationships with the assistance organizations — which are fairly just a few in jap Congo — as “good”.

Oxfam, for example, is paying for the merchandising machines from which the inhabitants could have the power to fetch water with a cash card ultimately.

Yme Jibu is negotiating with one different group to see if it’d most likely help assemble new pipes and faucets. It’s as a result of the Nyiragongo erupted as soon as extra in Would possibly, prompting many residents to maneuver away from city center. Kahorha is subsequently preparing for model new prospects:

“Individuals are establishing like crazy inside the area the place we’re represented. We’ve to place collectively for a rush of potential prospects.”

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