In the fishing town of Vitshumbi, two hours boat ride from Lunyasenge, residents said they had heard just enough of SOCO’s plans to be worried. In a succession of interviews people said they feared the lake would be polluted and their livelihoods destroyed.
They laughed at the idea that oil might bring local jobs.
“We have no education, no skills, what job can there be for us?” asked one young man. They feared, based on bitter experience, that Congo’s endemic corruption would stymie any hope of development.
“We fishermen do not agree with this oil exploration because it will cause pollution. And when the water gets spoiled the fish will also die,” said Francois Kasereka who started fishing Lake Edward in 1960 when he was 13-years old.
“For us: no fish, no life.”
Photos Courtesy of Norbert@lenz.be