Since May 18 the Congolese population has been gradually returning to money making activities after 48 days at a standstill.
The Republic of Congo government recently lifted a few lockdown measures initially put in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The resumption of public transport is great news for Pavel Samba who has been a taxi driver for the last 15 years.
The easing of lockdown measures comes as a relief as he knows no other way to make a living.
“This time was not easy. Its something you can never imagine can happen to you. It all happened so suddenly. I’m a tenant and I’m renting a house. Even during the lockdown, the landlord had sent me a message asking me to pay. I asked him to be patient and that I would come to regularise the amount once the lockdown was over” he says.
Even the hairdressers who had to temporarily tuck away their combs and sheers, are back in business.
Durbrin Lionel Nkouka, a local barber says the lockdown left him and his wife and kids with nothing and now he has to start from scratch.
He desperately hopes the country never again reverts to lockdown for the sake of their livelihoods.
Bars and restaurants, however, have not been authorised to reopen besides a few rare customers who can come to order take-out.
Turnovers are on the decline but restaurant owners remain hopeful.
“We’ve just been at home for two months and people are struggling. We are about 31 workers in Kojack, we only brought in two workers a week to make take-away food. And, the others stayed at home, it’s hard for them. We hope the Congolose government allows restaurant openings at the next level.” said Franck Matongo, co-owner of the Montagne Kojack restaurant.
On March 31 the Republic of Congo began a total lockdown, including a nighttime curfew in order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.