DR Congo

USAID/OTI DR Congo Hot Topics Jun 2005

Electricity Restored to More than 50,000 in Ituri District

Political unrest and war destroyed much of the infrastructure in Ituri District in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The lack of electricity, in particular, has turned everyday life into a continuing struggle and has paralyzed the area's economic recovery.

The town of Kasenyi on Lake Albert was one of many areas lacking electricity. But that changed in June when electric power was finally restored through the combined efforts of local communities, the local electric company, and USAID's Synergie d'Education Communautaire et d'Appui (SE*CA) program. Thirty-two miles of electrical wire were put into place and electrical instalIations in Kasenyi were prepared. SE*CA procured the materials, including the wiring, while the area communities contributed labor. The power lines have helped reactivate public services for 50,000 people, including power at the local hospital and lights in public spaces, allowing socially and commercially vital activities for the area. The local fisheries can now return to the level of trading they used to have because they can run their fish freezers again. Best of all, this project was completed through the coordination of multiple multi-ethnic communities working together voluntarily, which has reflected positively on the relationship between the communities and has increased the level of security in the region.

The SE*CA program promotes improved stability in war-affected areas by facilitating the reintegration of war-affected youths into their communities and increasing local, regional and national understanding of issues that are key to the country's political transition. To support these objectives, SE*CA uses three tools: 1) a youth education and skills program to train war-affected youths in agriculture, civic education, health, conflict management, reconciliation, personal values, numeracy and literacy; 2) a media program that supports access to information concerning issues key to the transition; and 3) an in-kind small-grants program that supports information dissemination projects and community-identified activities that are a priority for the economic, political and/or social revitalization of the community.

For further information, please contact:

In Washington, D.C.: Galeeb Kachra, Program Manager, e-mail: gkachra@usaid.gov; telephone: (202) 712-1905