Despite urgent humanitarian needs in the hard-to-reach territories of Shabunda and Fizi (South Kivu), humanitarian interventions are hampered by one major obstacle: physical access to these territories because of their isolation.
Isolated populations in the Ngolombe-Kigulube (Shabunda territory) and Lulimba-Nyange (Fizi territory) axes have been cut off from humanitarian aid for almost a year due to road degradation. Road rehabilitation works carried out by ACTED allowed to restore access to these territories, and hope for their populations.
The activities of most of the organizations operating in the Fizi and Shabunda territories are often slowed down or stopped because of the road condition. Access routes are impassable, preventing humanitarian workers to reach populations in need of emergency aid. Consequently, populations with already low incomes see their socio-economic conditions steadily deteriorating, in areas where basic necessities are particularly expensive.
To address this issue, ACTED rehabilitated the Ngolombe-Kigulube and Lulimba-Nyange road sections, thus increasing the emergency response capacities of humanitarian actors in the two territories.
Access roads in the Shabunda territory used to be barely passable, either by motorcycle or by foot. Due to the lack of markets and service roads, and insecurity, the populations of the area have gradually abandoned agriculture, once their main source of income, leading to food scarcity in the area. Before the road rehabilitation works, basic necessities only reached Ngolombe town, about 40 kilometres away from hard-to-reach Kigulube village. As the road didn’t enable to go further, basic goods had to be transported by foot to Kigulube, which led to scarcity of basic items and skyrocketing prices.
Before the road rehabilitation works, it took about nine hours to travel only 36 kilometres, most of the time on foot or possibly by motorcycle. Since the rehabilitation works, the same distance can be completed in only two hours, thanks to a new access road that can be used by four-wheeled vehicles.
To facilitate access for vehicles from Ngolombe to Kigulube, ACTED rehabilitated mud pits, ravines and potholes, and built several bridges. Mukamba regularly takes a motorcycle taxi on the road between Isezya and Kigulube. He recounts his long journeys to reach these remote villages: nine hours by road to cover 36 kilometres, with passengers being often forced to continue on foot. Kigulube can now be reached in only two hours thanks to the newly rehabilitated road, also accessible to four-wheeled vehicles.