Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The Bishops emphasize that the Equator is not connected well to the rest of the Country, which is abandoned to itself and does not benefit from the assistance of the central government. All the major projects of the government of Kinshasa have no impact on the local society. The roads are in total ruin while the health sector is not able to offer care to the population". Thus Fr. Gaspard Ndjoli, Executive Secretary of the Provincial Episcopal Conference of Mbandaka, summarizes the strong concern of the Bishops of the Congolese Province of Equator on the local socio-economic situation during the press conference on the conclusions of the Assembly of Bishops, held from May 29th to June 1st in Kinshasa.
During the meeting, the Bishops denounced the tragic socio-economic and security situation in the five new provinces born from the dismemberment of what was the province of the Great Equator.
"This situation is the result of poor governance and the abandonment of the population by the central government and of the exploitation by the local political class", said Don Ndjoli on Saturday 9 June. Echoing the analyzes of the seven Bishops of the Great Equator, Don Ndjoli said that the living conditions of the population of the region remain worrisome in all areas, especially in the health field, due to the Ebola epidemic that has hit the area.
The priest reiterated that the Church continues to assist the population, but insisted that politics must play its part. "The Bishops - he said - ask all the provincial and national officials to do their part. The authority of the state must be restored through the various local bodies. Only in this way the province will be livable".
Because of the Ebola epidemic, Don Ndjoli announced the reprogramming of the priestly ordinations, which were suspended in Mbandaka, and the inauguration of the new Cathedral in Basankusu in July 2018.
The old province of the Great Equator is located in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and occupied an area of 403,292 km² equal to 17.2% of the national territory. In 2015 it was divided into the provinces of Équateur, Nord-Ubangi, Sud-Ubangi, Mongala and Tshuapa. From an ecclesiastical point of view the old province of the Great Equator is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Mbandaka which includes the dioceses of Lolo, Lisala, Budjala, Basankusu, Molegbe, Bokungu-Ikela and Mbandaka-Bikoro. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/6/2018)