Cost of Corruption in Africa

by James & Miel on March 3, 2009 · 0 comments

I figure that in the midst of meltdown it it is good to keep some perspective.

Roads are one of those things that you really don’t appreciate fully until you don’t have them
. The average American has no idea what luxury we have simply in that smooth pavement extending for virtual infinity.

Corruption is also something that feels very remote until you are in the midst of it. As I master the art of warning and termination letters it feels much closer to home.

I wanted to share a few observations about the roads in DRCongo.

First I need to point out that the roads in Bukavu DRC are horrible by any standards. This is a city that during colonial times had beautiful wide tree lined avenues. Now during the twenty minute ride to the office you can only shift into second gear twice on a good day. Otherwise it is nonstop potholes throughout the city; bouncing and jostling like none other.

The city is in the process of repairing one miniscule kilometer of road in town. Do you know what the pricetag is for that 1 kilometer?

$2.5 Million USD for one measly kilometer!

I might point out that by some estimates the average cost of a freeway in America is $1 Million dollars for one kilometer! You can only imagine where that money is going and what it might do to repair the rest of the roads in the city to at least drivable conditions. Very sad.


I don’t have any pictures of roads in Bukavu at the moment, but here is one outside of the city for some perspective. This was a seven hour one way trip through roads like this. This wasn’t even the worst part of the road! This truck was stuck in the way and we had to help it out to get around it. Amazingly we made it through the whole drive without getting stuck; thanks to an incredible driver that took the skill to a new level of sport! I’d post a video if the connection was good enough, but no luck there!

Cheers,

Miel

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