For the next two months, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to supply water and electricity free of charge to its citizens, local authorities have said.
The Democratic Republic of Congo registered its first death from coronavirus on March 22.
According to the Anadolu Agency, the water supply business Regie de Distribution d’Eau (REGIDESO) and the country’s National Electricity Company (SNEL) have agreed to provide free water and electricity in the country for the following two months.
Deputy Minister of Hydraulic resources and electricity Papy Pungu said: “The measure is taken in order to reduce household expenses during this COVID-19 period.”
Clement Mubiayi, the chief executive officer of REGIDESO, said: "We will do everything possible to supply water and electricity for free since the government has promised to compensate us."
Jean-Bosco Kayombo, the CEO of SNEL, said among the beneficiaries of free water and electricity are households and small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the measures taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
At the end of March, the Congolese government put various measures in place to slow the spread of the virus, including strengthening border security measures, shutting down schools, restaurants and places of worship.
UNICEF experts have warned that the country’s health system is already fragile due to epidemics of cholera and deadly measles that have killed thousands of people, including children, this past year.