The Congo River remains Africa's most vital navigational system. There are over 8,700 miles of waterway that are used in DRC (Zaire) alone. Barges carrying loads of 800 to 1,100 tons are able to navigate at least 650 miles of the Congo throughout the year. These barges carry fuel, wood, minerals and agricultural produce and are a communication and transportation resource for those areas that are not served by roads.
The river system in some areas is a drawback. There are only a few bridges that cross the Congo and its tributaries at present. This problem can only be solved in the future with cooperation and funds provided by the countries through which the river flows.
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