Beni: MONUSCO Funds Bridge Rehabilitation to Maximize Protection of Civilians
On Friday, March 10, MONUSCO handed over the Mamove Bridge over the Asefu River to authorities in Beni territory. This bridge, of great economic importance, had been out of use and closed to traffic for two years. It allows the inhabitants of this part of North Kivu to travel to the neighboring Ituri province.
This MONUSCO Quick Impact Project (QIP) was implemented to respond to the circulation challenges faced by the population and the defense and security forces, who are struggling to accomplish their mission of protecting civilians.
Since the bridge collapsed in 2021, a tree trunk has served as a makeshift bridge. Only pedestrians or motorcyclists could use it. Soldiers in intervention were obliged to leave their vehicles on the river bank and proceed with their operation on foot and only retrieve their vehicles as they returned to their base. This slowed down the response time considerably.
"We are satisfied with this construction financed by MONUSCO, which has provided us with this bridge to facilitate the crossing. This bridge helps us to trade. It is of capital importance because it links us to the neighboring Ituri province. Its importance is immense," said Janvier Kasayiro, spokesperson for local civil society.
The head of the MONUSCO office in Beni, Josiah Obat, notes with satisfaction the benefits of the bridge in terms of security.
"With this bridge, we believe that the security forces and even MONUSCO troops will be able to conduct patrols here," he said.
Jean Kakule, a resident of Mamove, also welcomes the construction of the new bridge. However, he asks the UN mission not to stop there. He hopes that MONUSCO will also help rehabilitate the agricultural road that leads to the bridge.
"We are very happy. We want MONUSCO to be able to do even more. After this bridge, let MONUSCO refurbish this road that leads to Beu. It will be great when we people can transport our products to the market by car or truck, as is the case now with the Manove market as shown by the trucks parked there," he said.
The metal bridge, 14 meters long and 5 meters wide, which is now open to users, has a capacity of 60 tonnes. Its rehabilitation cost US$35,000.
The rehabilitation work lasted three months. It will improve security and access to health facilities and stimulate economic activity in the region.