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US$6-million to renovate Kinshasa's rundown buildings

US$6-million to renovate Kinshasa’s rundown buildings

Many believe that there are more rundown and extremely ‘rotten’ buildings in the DRC capital Kinshasa more than anywhere in Africa.

Most of these ‘dumps’ are proudly owned by the state.

Lifts that stopped working decades ago and since transformed into dustbins, electricity and water non-existent, walls falling apart, stinking toilets no longer flushing, and rats, mosquitos, cockroches and snakes crawling all over the place, are just some of the current features of these buildings.

The environment in and out of these houses of despair has also been seriously polluted and damaged.

Despite this, however, many residents – including the well-off and the middle class – are still staying in there, which they believe is far better than living in the ‘ugly’ townships of this fast-growing city of 10 million people.

But in a surprise move, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo recently revealed that all state-owned buildings will have to be renovated and given a fresh look.

The 11-month project is set to cost US$6-million (about R61-million in South African currency), and will be undertaken by a Chinese company, Ponyo’s office said in a statement.

Most of these buildings are located in the Royal Place in the suburb of Gombe, and all tenants will have to vacate these houses of shame, or face eviction.

Like any other big city in Africa, the DRC capital is facing a serious urban housing crisis that has immensely overpowered it. The UN Habitat has named Kinshasa as one of Africa’s fast-growing cities, which could surpass Lagos in all aspects in the next few years.

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