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Living off the river

People live along and on the river. The zone can only be reached by boat or motorcycle. The main source of livelihood for its 115,000 people is in order fishing, agriculture and further inland hunting. Of these some 35,000 people are semi nomadic; whole families go for between two to six months either by pirogue up the small tributaries for fishing or into the forest for hunting. During this time they only remerge for funerals.

In addition to the population of the health zone a further 10,000 people live on boats or in temporary dwellings on the hundred or so islands in the middle of the river. They are not indigenous to the zone and hail from either Province d’Equateur or the zone of Isangi. There are no schools, health centres or posts on these islands and they are not covered by the regular activities of the health zones.

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Taken on February 16, 2008