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  • Writer's picturekwankew

Bunagana and the DRC

We drove to the border town of Bunagan, Uganda about 10 Km away to pay a short visit to the rebel-controlled region of Bunagana of the DRC. The border crossing was quite loose, no stamps just negotiable fees with men speaking French and Swahili. As one stepped from the border of Uganda to "no man's land", the tarmac road abruptly ended at the border by the Ugandan side. Signs in French welcoming us to the DRC appeared. A plain-clothes man guided us through the village and there were a few uniformed men toting AK-47 milling around. The village itself was not different from many other African villages, littering on the roads and besides the houses was common. A few grand scale houses were left half-completed. In one short block, there were at least five to six "Pharmacies" and we were told that the nearest health center was in the next village. Bunagan was nestled in a valley and the slopes were terraced for planting. Children and women congregated around the communal tap to fill their Gerry cans with water. There was a small market selling charcoal, potatoes, onions, matoki, oil and sugar canes. For transportation of goods, the Congolese used a sort of a wooden bike which looked quite difficult to control. There were holes in the roofs and walls, some of which were patched up, signs of bullet holes from previous conflict. We spent roughly an hour and then crossed back the border to Uganda.

On our way back we tracked through rough terrain to visit the Bunagana Health Center currently being covered by Humedica. It was a much smaller center but probably served the local people well.

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