When I was in Sudan and Niger recently, I often experienced moments where I had to remind myself, that the situations before me were indeed the real world, and not some film I was in. The same rings true for this digital story, I found online:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, often referred to as DR Congo, DRC or RDC, and formerly known or referred to as Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-LÃ©opoldville, Congo-Kinshasa and Zaire, is the third largest country by area in Africa.
The country enjoys access to the ocean through a 40 kilometre (25 mile) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly nine-kilometre wide mouth of the Congo river which opens into the Gulf of Guinea. The name “Congo” (meaning “hunter”) is coined after the Bakongo ethnic group who live in the Congo river basin.
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nation endowed with vast potential wealth from Gold, Diamonds, Cobalt and other sought-after natural resources has declined drastically since the mid-1980s.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is now home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998. These deaths are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.
The war has intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations.
IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.
Rape of a Nation, by Marcus Bleasdale, is a photojournalistic digital story telling of the devastating conditions their causes and their effects.
Welcome to the real world.