The Geography



The Country: Republic of Congo




- About the size of Germany

- Right on the Equator (Hot hot hot!)

- Population: 4 million

- Capital: Brazzaville, right across from Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. [Note: To distinguish between the two Congos, Republic of Congo is often referred as “Congo-Brazzaville”, and Democratic Republic of Congo as “DRC” or “Congo-Kinshasa”. When you hear about Congo in the news, they are usually referring to DRC.]

- Official language: French. Lingala and Munukutuba are the most widely spoken of 67 national languages.

- Major religions: Christianity, Animism, and Islam

- Congo is divided into ten regions. 




Impfondo the Town


- Population: 20 000

- Capital of the Likouala Region in the North (Population 91 000) (But add in the 100 000 Refugees)

- Very remote and dense tropical rain forest

- Not accessible by car

- Accessible by unreliable air service (Scheduled to run twice weekly) as well as slow ferry service

- Electricity 3 hours twice a week (you get the idea!)

- Hospital and Mission stations run by Solar Panels  




Refugee situation 


Violence broke out at the end of October 2009 in Dongo, Democratic Republic of Congo, just across the river from Likouala region.  The conflict was between the Lobala people and the Bamboma people, who come respectively from the villages of Enyele and Monzaya, but are also installed in other nearby places. For years, these ethnic groups have argued about the right to waters rich in fish and the dispute has flared up into violence. The UN says over 100 people have been killed with machetes and firearms. Some have also drowned, trying to cross the Oubangi to seek refuge in the Republic of Congo. Dongo is completely deserted.  Corpses are lying in the streets.  Many homes and stores have been burned. The crisis in Dongo led to an exodus of the civilian population, first due to the advance of the rebels and then due to the counter-attacks of the army.  Over 100 000 have fled across the river to Likouala region, where Impfondo is the capital.  The Pioneer Hospital is overwhelmed with needs from the wounded and malnourished refugees living in dreadful conditions.