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CONGO : THE JUNGLE COURIERS | France 5 | Les Routes de l'Impossible

The Congolese have a saying that he who does not travel does not know the value of people… well, in South Kivu, the travellers are almost all heroes. It takes courage to travel the trails of this forsaken region. The town of Shabunda is one of the most remote in the Congo. Junior and Juvenal carry petrol aboard an old German military truck. Despite their steel giant’s 8-wheel drive it takes them between 3 days and 3 weeks, depending on the season, to travel the 70km to the town. It has to be said that the road through the jungle most often resembles a mud bath. Petrol comes in by truck because it’s too dangerous to carry it by air, as they do food. As a result, commodity prices are soaring. Shabunda is so difficult to reach that the cost of living is higher than in any European city: a bottle of water costs 5 dollars! The poorest families fetch food on bicycles or motorcycles from the end of the track. These slaves of the road carry as much as 250kg through the mud for 3 days. So why is that 80,000 people stubbornly remain in Shabunda? It’s for the huge treasure that lies in the bed of the river that runs around it. Gold resources are enormous. On motorbike, bicycle, behind the wheel or in the cockpit, the 6 million Congolese of the Kivu region battle on day after day.