Animals and Plants
What is growing in the Republic of the Congo?
Most of the country is covered with tropical rainforest. Tall trees grow there, under which bushes, lianas, ferns, orchids and epiphytes feel comfortable on several floors. The biodiversity is particularly great in the tropical rainforest.
Mangroves grow on the coast, which in turn provide a habitat for various animals. The transition to the rainforest is formed by moist savannas with grasses and bushes. Wide swamps can be found in the northeast of the country. Several protected areas and national parks have been set up to protect nature. The Odzala National Park in the northwest was opened as early as 1935.
What animals live in the Republic of the Congo?
The most famous animal in the Republic of the Congo is the western lowland gorilla. He lives in the northwest of the country. In contrast to the eastern gorilla, its fur is more gray-brown than black. It can also be easily recognized by its brown cap. He lives in the rainforest and in swamp areas. Both are abundant in the Republic of the Congo.
Forest elephants, chimpanzees, brazzame cats and bongos, one of the largest antelope species, are also native to the rainforest. Other antelopes are sitatungas (swamp antelopes), bushbuck and crown duiker. Predators here are spotted hyenas, lions and leopards. Finally, there are also buffalos, brush-eared pigs and giant forest pigs.
Oil doesn’t make you rich
Oil plays an important role in the economy of the Republic of the Congo, a country located in Africa according to constructmaterials. 90 percent of oil comes from exports, from the sale of goods abroad. However, the companies that extract the oil belong to foreign companies and very many jobs are not created by the extraction. So the population doesn’t get much of the oil. On the contrary: More than a third of the population is unemployed and 37 percent live below the international poverty line.
Natural gas and iron ore are also extracted. Wood is felled and processed. The wood industry is the second most important branch of the economy.
While industry contributes 51 percent to the entire economy, agriculture only creates 9.3 percent. 35 percent of the people work in agriculture! Most farmers have very little land. They grow food on it for their own harvest and only small surpluses are then sold in the market.
The main crops grown are cassava, rice, corn, peanuts and bananas. There are also larger plantations for sugar cane, coffee and cocoa. The Republic of the Congo is even the fifth largest producer of cassava in the world.
Everyday life in the Republic of the Congo
It’s always warm in the Republic of the Congo! However, it also often rains. Only in the dry season between June and September does it rain less. But you don’t need thick jackets or winter boots here. Even at night it is still 20 degrees!
Unfortunately, many people here are poor. There are very many unemployed. Children often don’t have enough to eat. Some are born with too little weight. 14 out of 100 children have a job – although child labor is also prohibited here. The children work in the fields, tend cattle, fish or sell goods in the market.
While the supply of clean drinking water is good in cities, only 46 percent of the population have access to it in rural areas. In terms of sanitary facilities, both urban and rural facilities are poor.
Children and School
School in the Republic of the Congo
In the Republic of the Congo, children start school at the age of six. 88 percent of the children actually go to school. That was very different during the civil war in the late 1990s and afterwards. The primary school lasts six years. Those who attend secondary school and last seven years can do their Abitur and study. But you can also leave after four years, after intermediate level.
However, the conditions in schools are often not good. They are often poorly equipped and there is not even enough seating for all students. So some then have to sit on earth. Teaching is in French.
Eating in Republic of the Congo
What do you eat in the Republic of the Congo?
The staple foods in the Republic of the Congo are cassava and plantains. Corn, rice, and yams are also often used.
There are many ways to prepare cassava. So you can pound the cassava flour from the tubers into fufu, a porridge. Chikwanga is cassava porridge that is cooked wrapped in leaves. The leaves of the cassava are also edible. When cooked, they are called Saka Saka, and together with beans they become Saka-Madesu.
Fish is caught in the Atlantic and in the country’s rivers. Maboke freshwater fish cooked in arrowroot leaves. Dried fish becomes stockfish and therefore has a longer shelf life. Chicken is the most popular meat. A popular stew made with chicken, tomatoes, and peanuts is called moambe. The whole thing is cooked in palm oil and with palm oil kernels. Take a look at our recipe in the participation tip !
Of course, tropical fruits also taste good: melons, pineapples, mangoes, papayas and coconuts grow well here. Beans, pumpkins, eggplants, and tomatoes are all vegetables that are popular.