Food prices soar in north east DRC as trucks block trade route

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Food prices have risen in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo after trucks carrying essential goods got stuck along a key trade route.

Authorities say more than 300 trucks have been stuck for over a month along a road in Ituri province due to damage caused by heavy rains.

Traders in the city of Bunia say the prices of basic foodstuffs have increased in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past four weeks.

Authorities have blamed the price rise on the heavy rains in the region.

The rains recently caused floods and damaged a road that is used to import food from neighbouring Uganda.

Officials say more than 300 trucks have been stuck along that road for over a month.

The road is the main supply route that traders from the territory of Mahagi use to transport food to the city of Bunia.

The truck drivers have urged the provincial government to fix the road but repair works haven’t begun.

The plight of consumers has been made worse by an ongoing conflict in the region.

Fighters of the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo and the Allied Democratic Forces have been attacking civilians and looting their property over the past seven years.

The attacks have forced thousands of people engaged in farming to flee their homes in Ituri province.

The Congolese army says it has stepped up operations against the rebels in that gold-rich region. But the massacre of civilians has continued. – Reporting by Chris Ocamringa