CONGO: the “Ouenze Bopeto” operation to clean up Brazzaville’s 5th Division

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CONGO: the "Ouenze Bopeto" operation to clean up Brazzaville's 5th Division ©Juste Mondele

With brooms, rakes, dustpans and bin bags, Congolese civil society has been mobilising since 24 August 2023 to beautify the streets of Ouenzé.

Brazzaville is determined to win the title of cleanest African city. Since the beginning of 2023, the Congo’s capital has been the scene of a succession of clean-up initiatives. These include the “Ouenze Bopeto” operation, the third of which runs until 10 September 2023 in the fifth division. A number of sites, including markets, schools and health centres, will be cleared of rubbish. Bouemba, Mouleke, Moukondo and Kimbangou-Mikalou are among the neighbourhoods targeted.

 “For years, we’ve been working to clean up our living environment. It’s a form of prevention against various illnesses and diseases. This period between the dry season and the rainy season is well chosen. So we’re going to clean up areas that we know are prone to overflowing rainwater”, explains Juste Désiré Mondelé, Congo’s Minister Delegate for Decentralisation and Local Development.

The initiative, spearheaded by Marcel Nganongo, the mayor of Ouenzé, and deputy Romi Oyo, is also designed to raise awareness among the 162,000 or so inhabitants of the need to respect the rules of hygiene and adopt eco-responsible practices, i.e. avoid throwing rubbish on the public highway. This will be done with the support of the Lebanese company Averda, which collects and treats waste in Morocco, South Africa and Congo.

Read also- CONGO BASIN: Sustainable Forest management to be discussed in Libreville in February

In this Central African country, urban sanitation has become everyone’s business. A few months ago in the city of Pointe-Noire, fashion start-up Julita Gorgeous signed a partnership agreement with Congo Terminal, a subsidiary of Bolloré Ports, to recycle coffee capsules into jewellery and home decoration items. The aim is to help develop the circular economy and improve air quality in the Congo.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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