Finally, after a long journey by sea, land and … river, all of the equipment for the preparation of the molecular biology laboratory of the DREAM centre of Mbandaka arrived at destination.
Mbandaka is easy to find on the map, you just have to run the line of the equator and stop where this crosses the river Congo. Now, Mbandaka is there.
The town has no connections by land. From Kinshasa you can reach it by airplane or by river. And this is the way – the only possible for such a transportation volume – that the DREAM laboratory equipment reached Mbadanka.
The last 1000 km were traveled navigating on a pontoon on the large Congo river. In the same way, more or less, in which Conrad could have seen them pass 100 years ago.
But Mbandaka isn’t a heart of darkness anymore, but the heart of a euroafrican dream, the one of DREAM, that tenaciously wanted to realize a light of hope and a jewel of modernity exactly there, where the white man had written one of the most shameful pages of his story. Exactly there where one of the villas in ruin of the former dictator Mobutu arises, still imposing itself for dimensions and decorations next to a town of hundreds of thousands of residents that do not even dispose of electric light.
As much as eight trucks were needed to transport the equipment from the river port to the DREAM centre: laboratory counters, electric cables and boards, linoleum for the floor, the voltage stabilizer, the computer material ….
Carpenters, electricians, computer experts have been working together for three weeks. In Mbandaka – as we said – there is no electricity, and not even a water distribution network. Therefore the DREAM centre had to provide with a large underground tank to store the rainwater (which doesn’t lack in the heart of the rain forest) and of two powerful groups of generators for the production of electric energy.
Electric boards have been installed for the electric distribution to the centre and to the laboratory, the information technology network, the server and the computers, the sanitary floor and the laboratory counters for work… and lastly the dish for the internet satellite connection.
After the testing of the analysis machines within January, the laboratory will be soon completely operative. It will be the first one to serve the enormous zone of the Equateur district of the Democratic Republic of Congo.