The Kinshasa’s Other Side of the Coin: Inevitably Need Decent Housing?

One of the aims of Eastern DRC Reconciliation & Development Forum is advocating for a better socio-economic standard living. However, sometimes the blogger has been wrongly considering that people living in large cities are likely better off than in my village. This is partly true when considering the general view of large buildings in those cities. In addition, it may be also be supported by the fact of expecting wide opportunities within the agglomeration in those cities. Nonetheless, the reality may be totally different when digging deep and looking beyond the appearances.

Kinshasa is a quit large city of dozen of millions of people. It’s being slowly renovated under the “Revolution de la Modernité”. It has beautiful buildings and highways expressing a well thought plan of a city. Unfortunately, I couldn’t imagine the other side of the coin, people living hard conditions in Kintambo few meters from Gombe. Clearly, people are desperate under these conditions; few meters from those building you always admire on the Boulevard du 30 June. This is not a question of discussion as most of people in Africa, specifically in DRC are doomed to accept such unpleasant conditions. Nevertheless, the key question remains how and when will they be saved from the misery?


Unexpectedly, the blogger found the living conditions so strange. It looks worse as compared to housing in my village. Based on the apparent and external view, there is a possibility of allowing observers to call it my Village in Kinshasa. It is quite hard to explain from inside how people survive within these houses. However, the external view as well as few testimonies I have had from with occupants, I am sure that life isn’t enjoyable. Additionally, it sounds unlikely that they are the first responsible from their misery. Off course, they might slightly be responsible if the reader think that they don’t believe in their well-being.


The site on the picture above is located between Magasins-Kintambo and Batetela (approximately). The area is nearby a bridge of something that can be considered as a river or channeled dirty water from the upward city. These miserable citizens are 200 meters from the Boulevard du 30 Juin. That is, for those familiar with Kinshasa wouldn’t easily believe that people may be stuck in such conditions. The reader won’t believe as it requires touching the situation on the first-hand, especially because the external view of Kinshasa may be misleading. The back of their houses is characterized by the view of the dirty water constituting another threat to their well-being. It is rather water of the river or a type of dustbin from Kintambo-Bandale-etc.

Restaurant MALEWA
Restaurant MALEWA

Walking around in the morning, it gives an idea of the fate of these compatriots. They have to wake up earlier morning, around 5.00 to start the hard day. You will possibly come across different people, young guys using the railway as sanitation facilities, moms of 50-60 years working on Malewa[1] and some others seemingly looking for an uncertain job. They have to; otherwise nothing guarantees how to live. The blogger has initiated contacts to discuss their daily living. It is a hard story to be shared and understood and it necessitates a support to avoid the trap. They can’t by themselves move away from the deep despair. The story will be shared soon. The blogger considers that we need to work and advocate for the better of those lagging behind.

Nearby Houses
Nearby Houses
Dustbin/River: Back of houses
Dustbin/River: Back of houses

Ntanyoma R. Delphin

Twitter account @delphino12



[1] Malewa is close to a mobile restaurant that ever requires the roof. The owner use only a small table, cooking materials and food to prepare something to eat for clients. The price of a plat ranges between 200-300 Congolese Francs ($ 0.2)


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