Bishops in DRC’s Kinshasa Province Alarmed by “dilapidating state of roads, death traps”

Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kinshasa after the closing Mass of their Ordinary Assembly in Idiofa, Kwilu Province on February 22, 2020.

The state of roads within the Ecclesiastical Province of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was a subject of discussion at the recent Ordinary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in the country’s region.

The Bishops expressed concerns about the bad state of the roads in the areas, describing them at “death traps.”

“The dilapidating state of certain road infrastructures that have unfortunately become death traps, to which is added the isolation of several areas of our Ecclesiastical Province with erosions and floods that regularly plunge our families into mourning in the notorious indifference of the public authorities,” the Bishops of DRC’s Ecclesiastical Province of Kinshasa decried in a collective statement at their end of their five-day meeting February 22.

The Congolese Prelates wondered, “Under these conditions, how can farmers and other economic operators contribute more effectively to the economy of our Provinces?”

Referencing the poor state of the roads, the Church leaders invited “competent authorities to fully assume their responsibility by being truly concerned about the fate of the population.”


The Bishops also called on the relevant government agencies “to ensure that the road taxes collected are effectively allocated to the maintenance and development of the road network.”

The multiple road barriers “that serve more to ransom than to secure the people” was also a concern of the Bishops.

“It is incomprehensible that this situation should continue after the solemn State of the Nation address delivered by the President of the Republic to Congress on December 14, 2019, in which he called for the removal of road barriers,” the Prelates protested in their collective statement.

Held at Nto-Luzingu Spiritual Centre of Idiofa in the province of Kwilu, the Bishops’ meeting focused on the socio-pastoral situation of the dioceses and provincial structures of Kinshasa Ecclesiastical Province, the harmonization of the liturgy as well as the organization of the ecclesiastical tribunal.

The Bishops also expressed concern about the growth of banditry or the "Kuluna" (armed youth gangs) phenomenon in several cities, towns and villages, a phenomenon they blame on the fact that “almost all the youth of our Province remain unemployed even after their studies, even though they constitute the first wealth for its development.”

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Despite the disturbing situation, the Church leaders expressed their satisfaction in the fact that “general calm reigns throughout our respective dioceses.”

“In spite of the visible poverty that the people experience and which contrasts with the richness that abounds in our Province, our faithful continue to witness to the Gospel and to stand firm in the faith,” the Bishops stated in their collective statement titled “People of God, "be strong and hold fast."

They added in reference to the positive state of things in their respective dioceses, “This is a real reason for thanksgiving to God, the source of all good.”

The Congolese Prelates also lauded the courage of the people of God in the face of their individual challenges and invited them to take charge of the change they desire in their lives for a better society.

“We salute the courage of our People who do not give up but remain standing. We encourage them to become more involved in the process of changing mentalities for a new Congo.”


The leaders acknowledged the role of priests, consecrated persons and all the pastoral agents in the evangelization of the region and especially for their respective witnessing of life and apostolic commitment despite the difficult conditions, which also affect the well-being of the people.

“We congratulate them for their dedication in our various dioceses, thus testifying to the vitality of the faith,” the Bishops stated in reference to pastoral agents and added, “We exhort them to remain close to the people of God and to sustain (their) hope.”

In this year of the celebration of the 3rd National Eucharistic Congress in DRC, the Bishops have invited the faithful to remain, "devoted to prayer and the breaking of the bread" so that all “may know how to share the sorrows and hopes of our wounded brothers and sisters throughout the country, especially in the East.”

The Bishops reaffirmed their readiness to accompany the people in their struggle for greater human dignity saying, “We invite them never to despair and to renew their faith in the God of all goodness who guides our lives with astonishing wisdom.”

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kinshasa is the Metropolitan See for the Ecclesiastical province of Kinshasa comprising nine dioceses: Boma, Idiofa, Inongo, Kenge, Kikwit, Kisantu, Matadi, Popokabaka and Kinshasa. Eight of the nine Local Ordinaries were in attendance, including Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa.

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.