Goma, voices rise again to say no to oil development in Virunga and Salonga National Parks.

Gathered at the Afia stadium in Goma on Saturday, February 29, 2020, more than 750 members of environmental associations in North Kivu and the populations living around Virunga National Park have just reminded the Congolese Government once again of their disagreement with the exploitation of oil in this protected area of ​​the country as well as in the Salonga National Park.

A public demonstration at the Afia stadium in Goma to say no to Oil development in Virunga and Salonga National Parks.
Pictures by Christian Hounkannou/ 350Africa.org

It was during a public demonstration organized by the NGO VAM Asbl and its partners. The activity saw the participation of several layers of the Gomatracian population as well as several media channels to make all the complaints heard.

Most of the interventions made during the event were part of demonstrating the main dangers linked to this exploitation, both on the environment and the lives of the populations living near the park.

“The big question I ask myself is what will become of our compatriots who live at the expense of the resources of this park if the oil is exploited there” worries Jacinthe MAARIFA, a student of the place in a declaration that he made during this event.  He, therefore, urges the Congolese government to preserve this protected area by canceling all the orders that had been signed to authorize this oil exploitation.

A public demonstration in DRC to say no to Oil development in Virunga and Salonga National Parks.
Pictures by Christian Hounkannou/ 350Africa.org

To the voice of this student, were added several declarations from members of environmental associations following the same logic. “Our country has several resources. Let them leave us our park in peace” declared, in turn, Mrs. Espérance CIDOROMI, one of the participants.

The activity was closed with the word of Dr. Éphrem BWISHE, coordinator of the NGO VAM ASBL, the main organizer of the activity, who reassured that they will continue with similar activities until the contracts are canceled, targeting oil exploitation in Virunga and Salonga Park and all protected areas of the DRC.

Environmental activist pledge for the protection of Virunga and Salonga National Parks. Pictures by Christian Hounkannou/ 350Africa.org

At the end of the event, a memorandum containing all the recommendations made in this activity was written to be sent to the Ministry of the Environment and that of hydrocarbons, reassured the organizers of this activity.

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