DRC: A mini mill takes shape in Kisangani
Sisters Servants of Jesus at the forefront of improving palm oil extraction in Batiabongena village
In terms of promoting food security, the oil palm sub-sector is a priority area in the Kisangani region. Not only is palm oil used in cooking as a routine ingredient, but it is also commonly used to make soap. Because demand exceeds production, this foodstuff remains out of reach for some households.
Palm is not only inexpensive to grow, but also produces high yields. Oil palm is the main industrial crop and palm oil production is the only one used, however, there are other by-products besides palm oil: palm kernel cake and palm kernel oil. The palm fruit or palm nut is a very profitable crop.
Compared with manual presses, the use of the press has the advantages of being a simple technology (as it was assembled on site by local engineers and is therefore easy to repair in case of failure), reducing labor fatigue, improving labor productivity, reducing water consumption, improving the extraction rate to 20 percent, and preserving the quality and taste of the region’s traditional oil.
Through the “HIC SUM” project, Spazio Spadoni is supporting the Congregation of the Sister Servants of Jesus to improve palm oil extraction in this region. With the introduction of a mini-mill, we hope to achieve a number of goals, including the development of the oil palm plantation, which has so far not been fully exploited, the creation of economies of scale through the production of soaps, the extraction of palm oil, and the production of oilcakes, which are used in the composition of livestock feed.
The Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Jesus has been present in the Archdiocese of Kisangani since 1979. The sisters serve the diocese through teaching, health care, caring for the sick, accompanying prisoners and working in the fields.
Through the “HIC SUM” and “OPERAM” projects, the sisters strive to be close to the people to bring them to civilization through works of mercy. Bringing development to the “KUMU” people to civilize them. The mission has always played an important role in human development.
To this end, we have started a mentoring program for the youth in the village. We believe that it is necessary to give them the training they need to become self-sufficient and financially independent, because we want them to learn the trade so that they can find a job and build their own lives.
Thus, a few months ago, with the support of Spazio Spadoni, the sisters began producing fired bricks in the village of Batiabongena. These bricks are produced entirely by young people from the village, who come to work and earn something to support themselves. They see in this initiative a job and also a way to contribute to the common good.
The first bricks produced will be used to build the shed that will house the machinery for the mini-olefactory, soap factory and warehouse, as well as the house for the nuns who will go to live in the village of Batiabongena to create a new community and be close to the Kumu people.
Spazio Spadoni continues to work with the Congregation of the Sister Servants of Jesus to re-evolve the Works of Mercy. We hope that the project started in Kisangani can be extended so that the Works of Mercy can reach everyone, giving dignity to every man and woman because everyone is an image of God, worthy of living mercy and performing acts of mercy.