The war has had a devastating impact in the Central region of the Congo and the population has suffered a great deal. Infrastructure breakdown has led to a lack of basic goods and services and has destroyed the means for commerce. Bushmeat hunting has become rampant, as bushmeat not only provides sustenance, but also provides one of the only reliable sources of income. Smoked bushmeat is one of the few commodities that can withstand the long journeys to market without spoiling. Unsustainable agricultural practices have also become widespread as people try desperately to make a living in very difficult circumstances.
Sustainable agriculture is a crucial part of sustainable development in the DRC. BCI has supported several agricultural projects, including the planting of mosaic disease-resistant cassava, a root vegetable that is a staple of the Congolese diet. Students and graduates of our Djolu Technical College are engaged daily in learning and promoting productive and sustainable farming practices.
In addition to supporting agricultural endeavors, BCI provides resources for Congolese entrepreneurs. Local businesses bring economic stability and greater opportunities to their communities. Through training, micro-credit programs, and other material support, BCI has contributed to the success of many Congolese business enterprises. In honor of the bonobos’ matriarchal society, BCI has been particularly engaged with women’s business efforts.
BCI and partners have a network in place throughout the region that provides logistical support to development efforts. With more consistent transport by water and land, and with better communication technology, the residents of these Congolese communities can look forward to a more connected and sustainable future.