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Infrastructure- Congo style

  • 24-11-2011 11:22am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭ jonniebgood1


    The glass is always half full.
    I came across this story of the railway system in the Congo whichcould engender some appreciation for Irish infrastructure:
    Alexandre Mapokopero is proud to work for SNCC, the national railway of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the last time he actually mounted a train was back in June.

    As chief train attendant in the southern city of Lubumbashi, his job is to attend to passengers' every needs while they are travelling.

    He turns up for work every day but there is no work to go to because so few of the country's trains are actually running.

    Mr Mapokopero complains that he is owed more than 60 months' back-pay.

    "I can't afford to resign," he says, hoping that one day, the company will resume payments.

    "I'm scared that if I quit I may lose all my benefits, including my pension."
    'A big mess'
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote
    Alexandre Mapokopero

    We have no locomotives, no carriages”

    Alexandre Mapokopero Train attendant

    Congo to revamp decrepit railways

    Ahead next week's elections, the state of the rail network reveals all one needs to know about the vast country's problems, past and present.

    Originally designed to meet the transport demands of the mineral companies, it is still failing to meet the needs of ordinary Congolese.

    Like much in DR Congo, it is old, run-down, badly managed and in desperate need of an overhaul.

    "There is a big mess in the Congolese rail system," says Mbuyu Kikidji, who used to run the national rail company.

    "First of all the rail system is very old. The management is also old. And the equipment is old," he says.

    ....

    As some passengers leave the station ready to return the following day, they walk past a reminder of days gone by: An old blue and yellow locomotive, the first one to roll on DR Congo's tracks.

    It is now the centrepiece of a roundabout, just a few hundred yards from the railway line.

    This symbol of the country's past has now become a billboard for the future. The locomotive is covered with election posters for candidates running for parliament.

    They are all promising a brighter future for the DR Congo.

    Chief train attendant Alexandre Mapokopero is not so confident.

    "We have no locomotives, no carriages," he says.

    "All we have are empty promises from the government." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15859686

    Empty government promises !!!!!!!

    I saw a program about Chinese investment in the Congo railway network a few years ago- Does anyone know if this materialised?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,092 ✭✭✭ hi5


    Welcome to Ireland in five years time:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    The glass is always half full.
    I came across this story of the railway system in the Congo whichcould engender some appreciation for Irish infrastructure:


    Empty government promises !!!!!!!

    I saw a program about Chinese investment in the Congo railway network a few years ago- Does anyone know if this materialised?

    The chinese have form building railways in Africa, they spent $500m building the Tazara railway connecting landlocked Zambia to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAZARA_Railway

    Here's an article I found online:
    http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/africa/53995/chinas-forays-into-africas-rail.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 177 ✭✭ LaFlammeRouge


    I saw this link on boards a few months ago: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50799-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-Lubumbashi-to-Kinshasa

    It's blog from a Belgian couple who drove across the Congo in a 4x4. It is a long read, but definitely a page turner!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭ jonniebgood1


    I saw this link on boards a few months ago: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50799-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-Lubumbashi-to-Kinshasa

    It's blog from a Belgian couple who drove across the Congo in a 4x4. It is a long read, but definitely a page turner!

    I've only read the first 3 pages of posts so far but it is a fantastic link so thanks. I've read blood river by Tim Butcher about travelling in the Congo and there are similarities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    you're right, it takes a place like The Congo to make Ireland look good.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭ crushproof


    I saw this link on boards a few months ago: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50799-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-Lubumbashi-to-Kinshasa

    It's blog from a Belgian couple who drove across the Congo in a 4x4. It is a long read, but definitely a page turner!

    That is a phenomenal read, I began reading it at 11 this morning and I still haven't left the kitchen table (bar brewing copious amounts of tea). The difficulties they have faced are unreal, and the sheer scale of corruption and greed would have driven me crazy, dunno how they managed it all!
    I'll definately give Blood River a go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 807 ✭✭✭ Gallant_JJ


    crushproof wrote: »
    I saw this link on boards a few months ago: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50799-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-Lubumbashi-to-Kinshasa

    It's blog from a Belgian couple who drove across the Congo in a 4x4. It is a long read, but definitely a page turner!

    That is a phenomenal read, I began reading it at 11 this morning and I still haven't left the kitchen table (bar brewing copious amounts of tea). The difficulties they have faced are unreal, and the sheer scale of corruption and greed would have driven me crazy, dunno how they managed it all!
    I'll definately give Blood River a go.

    It's a wonderful read alright, extremely well written. Spent the last 6 hours reading it in its entirety. I have also read Blood River, another excellent read. I nearly found the blog more interesting. I have some experience of crossing extremely tough terrain on 4 wheels, but it wasn't in the same league as crossing the Congo. We had so many heart warming stories from our journey that would restore your faith in humanity, unfortunately this is a completely different story.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,400 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    What is the point of posting this article?

    Ireland has an excellent rail network which would be the envy of most of the world. Countries like Congo will take decades to reach even our standard, much less the standard of Western Europe.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 Wild Bill


    spacetweek wrote: »
    What is the point of posting this article?

    Ireland has an excellent rail network which would be the envy of most of the world. Countries like Congo will take decades to reach even our standard, much less the standard of Western Europe.

    I think it is interesting in it's own right. I don't think the person who started the thread was making any "anti-Ireland" analogies.

    That predictable brain-dead tiresome nonsense came from some of the follow-up posts. :mad:


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,400 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    I think it is interesting in it's own right. I don't think the person who started the thread was making any "anti-Ireland" analogies.

    That predictable brain-dead tiresome nonsense came from some of the follow-up posts. :mad:
    True - there are probably 100 countries in the world with worse railways than us.


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