In Lubero, MONUSCO renovates commercial premises to boost the economy and reduce community violence
The two main markets in the commune of Lubero and Mulo have been renovated with funding from MONUSCO. In this region, where local armed groups still pose a serious security threat, these trading places are a breath of fresh air for a population whose economic activity is severely affected by insecurity.
The two projects have been funded to the tune of US$200,000. They were presented at the end of last week during the visit of the head of the MONUSCO office in the Beni-Butembo-Lubero region. The first project was carried out at the Mulo public market, where two sheds were built. Latrines, a goods depot and an office for the market administrator were also erected.
In the central market of the Lubero commune, three sheds were built that can accommodate up to two hundred traders. Here too, latrines, a goods depot and an office for the market administrator have been built.
In these two trading places, users can trade without having to fear bad weather or difficulties in keeping their goods safe. This makes the traders' representative, Nzay Sina Sura, very happy. "We, the beneficiaries of this big market, the nice market of Mulo, are very happy to have a nice building, a nice umbrella. There has never been such a nice one in this neighbourhood. And we promise to keep order and discipline in this market," she added.
Place of social cohesion
For the president of the civil society of the rural commune of Lubero, this place of trade is a little more than a simple place where commercial activities will take place. Jackson Vahalwire speaks of a place of cohesion where communities will meet, discuss and exchange, thus reducing the possibility of confrontation.
He also believes that the renovation of this place increases the possibilities of empowerment for women, who are often forced to live in precarious conditions in an area where trading places are also targeted by armed groups.
In the spirit of MONUSCO itself, these renovated markets are more than just places to trade. Ex-combatants took part in the construction work, ensuring their reintegration into the community through work. It is also a question of reviving the economic activity of a region devastated by the activity of local militias. This area is a major producer of foodstuffs that feed the towns of North Kivu.
“Through these markets, we wanted to promote economic recovery, particularly through trade in agricultural products. We must not forget that this project is part of a programme to reduce violence. So it was important that these communities, which will eventually receive the demobilised ex-combatants, provide them with conditions that will enable them to prosper economically and, therefore, to turn the page and start thinking about their future," explains Cecilia Piazza, MONUSCO's head of office.
The markets of Kirumba and Kanyabayonga, also in the same region, have also benefited from this project, the construction of which is still ongoing. The administrator of Lubero territory, Colonel Alain Kiwewa, calls on MONUSCO to think of other projects for the development and stabilisation of this area, aspiring to both security and development.