Part of the ledge which overhangs the Congo river collapsed on Thursday in Brazzaville after heavy rains, causing a controversy on the quality of the works inaugurated in February 2016, said an AFP correspondent.
Collapsed shoulders and sidewalks, cracked asphalt, overturned lamppost: in this showcase district of the capital of the Republic of Congo, the damage was visible over approximately 500 meters, between the city center and the cable-stayed bridge of 15 June inaugurated in February 2016.
Minister of Public Works Jean-Jacques Bouya went there, without making any statements.
The military police prohibited traffic for approximately two kilometers. Many Brazzavillians immediately questioned the quality of the work carried out by the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
« We now find that the work was done badly because the road collapsed like a cookie, » said an anonymous official.
“We were told that everything was done here according to the rules of the art. But, here we have just been shown that it was not serious ”, regrets a passer-by, Arthur Ngoma.
“The landslide of the ledge hurts me. It’s a place where everyone came to have fun. It’s unfortunate. ”
Rendered to pedestrians only on Sundays, the ledge and the bridge quickly became a place of walks frequented by thousands of people on weekends.
The European Union delegation in Brazzaville said on Twitter that it « associates itself with the dismay of the Brazzavillians ».
Several affected neighborhoods
“A place for reunion, relaxation, leisure and the practice of sport, it is a symbol of living together that is collapsing. We hope that no one is killed, « added the EU delegation.
The cornice and the bridge were inaugurated in February 2016, just before the presidential election which led to the re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Several districts of Brazzaville are affected by the consequences of the rains, which also caused spectacular silting up.
In the interior of the country, tens of thousands of people are also victims of the floods.
The government, with the support of humanitarian organizations, is trying to assist some 180,000 disaster victims living mainly along the Congo and Oubangui rivers (north).