This is the only road in Zaïre, connecting North to East!

Wet Zaire road
This is the main road between Kissangani and Uganda!
In the good old times (???) of the Belgium colonization, every little village along the road had their own responsibility, concerning the maintenance of the road. The Belgium authorities did pay for this maintenance. But when Zaïre became independent, nobody gave a shit about maintenance anymore. In the raining season it's raining every day for a few hours very strong. And all roads are made of red African clay. It's slippery as ice.
Imagine an old Fiat or Mercedes truck. With bold tires and heavy overloaded. It gets stuck in every little hole, a few cm's is enough. The only thing you can do is to empty the hole and make it dry by scraping off a little layer of wet clay. The clay you throw just beside the road.
After the next rainy night the next truck gets stuck and repeats the whole cycle.. And so creating big pot holes. The result of a few raining seasons is visible on the picture. The situation was very serious during our visit. It took the drives nearly one whole day to empty a big pot hole. Most of the times there were 10 trucks waiting on each side of the hole. And when the hole was dry at the end of the day, there started a rush to cross this pot hole before the daily rains started to fill up this hole completely again. We passed a spot where a few armed military people forced some drivers to cut a D-tour in the forest, around an existing pot-hole. Trucks had to wait one week before they could use this new "road". I think at this spot, the pot hole was so big, that it was not possible to empty it before the next rain came.

Back home Next place