Delmec have been working in Africa for over 10 years and in DRC since 2012. Last year Delmec decided to try give something back to the community in Africa.
Bienvenu Mandro, Delmec Country Manager DRC, and his team in Kinshasa put forward the idea to provide a water station in a very poor area of Kinshasa.
DRC is a country with 90 million people, is the size of western Europe and has very little infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water infrastructure etc. It has huge natural resources but the money from these resources seems to go into a few hands or leave the country. The people of the country are very poor. Kinshasa is the capital of DRC, and has a population of 12 million people. It is the 3rd largest city in Africa, the largest French speaking city in the world, and has an unemployment rate of greater than 50%. In Belair the area where we built the water station there is a population of over 50,000 people. There is no running water, electricity, or sewage system, most people have come from outside the city to find work but end up living in very difficult conditions.
Every day to get water, which is a basic necessity to live, families go early in the morning to local water sources to get water for drinking, cleaning and other basic necessities. They usually send their children which means the may not go to school.
Bienvenu’s idea was to build a water well with a solar powered water pump in the area. Pump water into 10,000 litre tanks and provide water to the local community. A person would be employed to maintain and service people as the arrive for water.
The project began in November 2018 and was run by Joelle Mujinga, helped by her brother Patric, who acted as interperter. Joelle organised the purchase of the land, the installation of the well, tanks, building and solar panels. She also organised the formation of the not for profit company Elikya. The land was purchased in February 2019 and work was completed last June.
We started pumping water for the local community at the end of June. On Tuesday August 20th we officially opened the water station on a visit with my wife, Laura.
On the visit we could see the effect of this station, local people were really grateful. The provision of water which we consider a basic necessity in Ireland has made these peoples lives so much easier. One lady at the opening wanted Delmec to build a school next and then a hospital, probably a little out of our reach. But maybe we can do something like this in another area.
Elikya is something that makes me really proud, we have done some great things in Delmec but this is certainly up there. I would particularly like to thank the Delmec staff and management team who allowed the funds be contributed, Bienvenu and his Delmec team in DRC for the idea, Joelle and her brother Patric for managing the project and Nsimba who now runs the station.
Elikya means hope in Lingala – the local language spoken in Kinshasa.
Chief Executive Officer