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    Zaire has been facing problems with its water supplies. In some regions, there has been?

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    Zaire has been facing problems with its water supplies. In some regions, there has been far too much water, when floods inundated large tracts of land. But throughout the country there is a chronic shortage of potable water supplies. President Mobutu Sese Seco recently (August 8) inspected flood damage then went on to open a new pumping station.

    SYNOPSIS: The region of river basin in central Zaire has been in???dated by floods following a long period of torrential rain, which caused the Zaire River to burst its banks. House, fields of crops, roads and the railway were damaged int eh rising waters.

    In the small town of Kongolo near the area hardest hit by the floods, troops and a welcoming crowd waited for the arrival of President Mobutu Sese Seco, who came to see for himself the extent of the disaster. he received a full ceremonial welcome which observers said indicated the measure of his support here in Shaba province.

    President Mobutu has in recent years tightened his political grip on the country, even in the face of an invasion last year (may 1978) by the Congo National Liberation Front in this province. But he has not been able to halt a worsening economic crisis. Zaire is one of the world's most indebted countries, partly through borrowing from other countries and from banks using copper and cobalt deposits as collateral. And the country's ability to repay is not assisted by the economic disruption caused by the floods.

    While country areas suffer from an excessive amount of water, urban areas have been short of clean drinking water. On the day he visited the floods President Mobuto also opened the first of several new facilities for the distribution of potable water throughout the country.

    This pumping station and water treatment plant can provide six-point-seven million litres (1.5 million gallons) of drinking water a day, increasing soon to 19 million litres (4.2 million gallons) a day. This plant in Mbuji Mayi is the first in a major programme to expand the facilities for providing clean water. Existing water works are being updated and ninety-eight new ones like this are to be built.

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