Access to Mombele neighbourhood: The road to development and progress

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Father Silvére Maurutto, a Divine Word Missionary in Congo has dedicated himself for some years now to the construction of bridges over river Yolo, Lemba and Kalamu that joins Mombele neighbourhood with the rest of Kinshasa city.

Mombele, in the district of Limete, is one of the most populated and poorest neigbourhoods of the capital Kinshasa. It is a neighbourhood of swamps whereby the riverbeds of these three rivers are very elevated. During the rainy season, the neighbourhood is isolated from the rest of the capital. The floods cause a lot of deaths and also some inhabitants find themselves forced to abandon their houses.

Father Maurutto, coadjutor at St. Amand parish in Mombele (under the Divine Word Missionaries), has constructed three bridges over river Yolo and River Lemba to help the inhabitants of Mombele access the city center. After the construction of these bridges, the SVD missionary wants to repair the road that joins the bridges to the big arteries of the neighbourhood. The cost of the work is estimated at 35,000 American dollars. Father Maurutto is expecting financial assistance from abroad as well as from within Congo.

Asked about the involvement of the locals in this work, the missionary confesses that it is not an easy thing, due to the poverty levels of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood. However, with the help of the youth he himself goes 4 or 5 times a week to this road and asks for the contribution of the pedestrians. Every week he receives 15 or 20 thousand Congolese francs (about 20 American dollars). People get surprised to see a white man siting beside the road and asking for financial help. Fr. Maurutto does not mind and wishes that the State through the elected offices of the neighbourhood would participate more in this initiative.

Recently, father Silvére was interviewed by the national television (RTNC) in the program “Magazine des voices du Progrés”. In the said interview, he called upon men and women of good will and the politicians to help the locals in this initiative to construct an access to the Mombele neighbourhood. He strongly believes that the development of the neighbourhood depends much on its access to the rest of the city.

Father Silvére Maurutto, an Italian national is 84 years old and he arrived in Congo in 1959. He has worked in the parish and in schools as a teacher. He has always worked for social justice, the education of the youth and in the fight against poverty and social injustice.

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