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ACN Project of the Week : Transportation project in RDC

22 May 2019, by Amanda in Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

ACN Project of the Week in 

Democratic Republic of Congo  

 

Repairing essential transportation for travel on the Congo River

 

The diocese of Lisala is one of the oldest and – with an area of over 67,600 km² –one of the most geographically extensive in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Situated in the north of the country, in the Congo basin, it is crisscrossed by the Congo River and its many tributaries making the waterways absolutely vital to the life of the Church.

The diocesan river boat, called: the Magnificat, is of crucial importance to pastoral outreach. But, sadly, the vessel was severely damaged in September 2018 while travelling downriver towards Kinshasa. Surprised by a sudden storm and unable to moor safely, it was flung against a large tree projecting it into the water causing a huge hole to tear on its side. Fortunately, the people on the boat were able to evacuate safely, but the boat sank almost completely. Needless to say, the material damage was extensive and the rescue campaign difficult. One of the priests and other helpers had to paddle across the river to reach the accident site.

In need of expertise

Initially, they attempted to repair the boat themselves and get it underway again, but it soon became clear that the whole process would be much more difficult than they had imagined and would require specialist materials and expert skills. Two of the motors were out of action, and repairing the hole in the side will require the work of skilled boat builders.

The diocese has turned to ACN for help.  In turn we have  promised $13,200, so that this boat with a vital mission, can quickly be rendered serviceable again.