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Heavy rains leave key rail link underwater

Due to lack of drinking water, rural populations drink unsanitary water, wash themselves in rivers and in stagnating water, Mvouma River, North of Brazzaville, Congo, 11 May 2007.
(Laudes Martial Mbon/IRIN)

A stretch of the railway linking Congo’s capital to the Atlantic port of Pointe-Noire has been flooded following heavy rains, cutting off a key supply route.

Road traffic in the affected area, around Goma Tse Tse, 25km southwest of Brazzaville in the Pool region, has also been severely affected by the deluge.

“Passengers and the railway management know there are often floods in this area,” grumbled one trader.

“If nothing has been done it is because in this country we always wait for the worst to happen before trying to find a solution,” he added.

When a stretch of the line in the same area flooded last year, the interruption led to shortages of fuel and food in the capital.

“As from today, we are trying to find a solution by bypassing the flooded area so as to bring foodstuffs into Brazzaville by road,” said Transport Minister Emile Ousso.

Even when flooding is not an issue, transport in Pool is sometimes hampered by rebels known as the Ninjas.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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