The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

DR Congo’s street food crisis

DR CONGO: In crisis-hit Democratic Republic of Congo, people in the capital increasingly turn to street hawkers to feed themselves and their families cheaply, but the makeshift option is often not a hygienic one.

culture, health, pollution,


AFP

Sunday 19 February 2017, 02:00PM


Women prepare food at a street restaurant in Kinshasa. Photo: AFP
Women prepare food at a street restaurant in Kinshasa. Photo: AFP

From civil servants and students, to construction workers and parents with their children, hungry Kinshasa residents depend on so-called malewas, or street food sellers, whose numbers have grown as the economy has worsened.

“Here, I eat my fill for under 2,000 Congolese francs (B54),” said Jose Bangamba, a 29-year-old taxi driver.

Leaning over a plate of chicken in gravy, which cost him just 1,500 francs (B40), Bangamba also tucked into a side dish of fufu, a traditional recipe made from cassava flour that cost 400 francs (B11).

“In a normal restaurant, this meal would have cost me at least 10 times more. How can I possibly afford that?” he said.

DR Congo has been mired in political and economic unrest for years. A fall in commodity prices that hit the country’s mining industry, leading to mass job losses, sparked a crisis in mid-2015.

The slump in production left the government without a much-needed source of revenue. The situation has been further compounded by high inflation after a fall in the Congolese currency.

Since December, the political crisis has also worsened, with President Joseph Kabila refusing to step down despite his mandate coming to an end.

Though the vast central African nation is rich in mineral wealth and water, it has long been one of the continent’s poorest nations and rising unrest has only deepened the economic malaise.

For the past year and a half, malewas have become massively popular in Kinshasa, home to 10 million people.

And it isn’t just those looking for a cheap meal who are turning to malewas; it is also housewives like Marie Aloka Hioma, who have started selling hot food in front of their Kinshasa homes.

Better known as Mama Marie, the 48-year-old mother of eight said she set up her malewa six years ago “to pay my children’s school fees”.

Customers for her malewa stand in line from 5am every day, waiting to be served from pots of fish, chicken, meat and pondu, a local dish made from cassava leaves and vegetables.

Mama Marie, who serves all the customers herself, does not know how many people come in a day.

“A hundred or so, I guess,” she says, standing under a parasol by her makeshift food stand, stuffing the cash she makes into a handbag slung over her shoulder.

For the past seven years, Mama Annie has been running a similar business just a couple of streets away.

Most of her profit, she says, goes “to my children, to buy them shoes” and clothes.

Papi Bula Mbemba, a 49-year-old regular who works for a pest control company, comes to Mama Annie’s every day.

“You get the best prices here. Malewas really do offer the people of Kinshasa the solution they need,” he said.

But these cheap meals often come at the cost of hygiene.

Bangamba, the taxi driver, says some malewa owners use unwashed plates and glasses.

Customers also run the risk of diseases such as typhoid, diarrhoea and even cholera as malewas are often located near rubbish dumps and polluted water tanks.

“Worsening living conditions force the population to eat what they can afford,” said Benjamin Kewngani Mavard, director of DR Congo’s public hygiene service.

Warning of a “growing public health problem”, Kewngani conceded it would be “impossible” to shut down all the malewas.

“We have to improve them,” he said, adding that authorities would seek to raise street food vendors’ hygiene awareness.

Mama Marie said that, while others may not be up to standard, her food was clean.

“I eat what I cook, and so do my husband and children,” she said, as she washed her plates and cutlery.

“I don’t want people to fall ill. I want them to come back the next day.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


CIB tackles illegal drone flight threat

Article made me thinking: Why is the Army not patrolling in the Deep South with drones instead with unprotected pick up trucks, ripped apart like sar...(Read More)


Phuket’s Eva Beach appeal earns demolition reprieve, says Rawai Mayor

Editor, can you please explain what this has to do with this story "Looks to me like helicopter parenting here.BTW,studies show that children of ...(Read More)


CIB tackles illegal drone flight threat

Whilst flying a drone over military or airports is important, I wish they'd sort out far more important issues....(Read More)


Pacific corals in 'worrying' state: researchers

It's the climate change. Mother Nature is showing us with more harsh weather ( stronger storms, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes) and signals f...(Read More)


Pacific corals in 'worrying' state: researchers

I been there in the early 90.is and seen them,the coral were still pretty much ok from my point of view.It seems nobody really cares and everybody jus...(Read More)


Phuket’s Eva Beach appeal earns demolition reprieve, says Rawai Mayor

Funny how quick someone jumps up like a rabbit out of a magicians hat,if our chief commentator is questioned! Looks to me like helicopter parenting he...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The rising tide of progress

Great PN piece of Opinion. Yes, Anyone living many years on Phuket island is not surprised by the floodings, etc. See Patong police station, 2 hours...(Read More)


Phuket taxi drivers charged for assaulting security guard over access to hotel guests

Wow "Might" revoke their licence's, tough talk, well done, the taxi tuk tuk mafia will be shaking in their shoes!...(Read More)


11 held in crackdown on foreign crime

As mentioned in a previous story, the ever good old Nigerians and their scams, most from that continent aren't good people, sad but true....(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The rising tide of progress

The monkeys can be moved because no one is being paid to look the other way....(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.