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Goma: Lac Vert’s residents request MONUSCO to increase security patrols in the area

Female Engagement Team of MONUSCO’s Indian Battalion exchanges with the Lac Vert community in Goma. Photo MONUSCO/Kevin Jordan

A part of its mandate of protection of civilians, a team from the MONUSCO Force Indian Battalion, including members of the battalion’s Female Engagement Team (FET), met on 6 February with residents of Lac Vert, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Goma, North Kivu province.

The residents were represented by 15 women and 6 men at the meeting, which took place at the office of the neighborhood chief.  The women reported a rise in cases of kidnappings, which they said effectively restricts the movement of people. This directly affects opportunities of getting employment and that is why they requested MONUSCO to increase its security patrols in the area.

The community representatives also voiced concerns about unemployment. Most of them rely on subsistence agriculture for survival, but the unavailability of seeds is a serious challenge, they said. And so, they requested MONUSCO to assist them in this regard.

The men reported they have benefited a lot from the training modules, such as English Speaking Classes, run earlier by the Indian Contingent. They requested that training modules be planned to train mechanics, electricians, bakers, etc. Similarly, the women asked for training in sewing, cooking and baking.

Congo has a variety of fresh fruits, which can be made into jams, jellies and packaged juice, the men also reported. But they said they lack the training and machinery required for the job and asked for help in this respect.

On MONUSCO’s side, it was pointed out that the patrols will be increased. But dealing effectively with most of the issues raised would require the involvement of the local government and administration. Therefore, it was decided that a follow up meeting in Lac Vert will take place in the coming weeks, along with a meeting at the local Agriculture Department Office planned on 13th February.