Congo beer factory a beacon in area hit by rebels

STORY: Two Ebola outbreaks and rebel violence haven't stopped the beer flowing in Democratic Republic of Congo.

This is the Brasimba factory in Beni, located in North Kivu province.

The impoverished region has been grappling with a major offensive by the M23 rebel group that is active in nearby forests.

But despite the insecurity, bottles of beer continue to zip along conveyor belts, and the company employs hundreds of workers.

That's a big deal in a country where the World Bank says 73% of people live on less than $1.90 a day.

Thomas Wybauw is a sales and marketing manager at Brasimba:

"The Beni plant has become the hope of this bruised region and that many people have joined this project and find an extremely positive side to seeing an international group invest in this region."

The plant took on an initial $134 million investment and output tripled to 600,000 hectolitres between 2013 and 2021.

Brasimba is controlled by France's Castel Group, and further expanded production in Beni last year with a second filling line.

But there are major challenges for the company as workers sometimes have to go past rebel checkpoints to make deliveries along poorly kept roads.

"We are unable to access certain areas, we have roads that are sometimes blocked by the poor state of the road infrastructure, or by high insecurity and it is true that this lengthens the supply time for the areas, sometimes even prevents them."

Back in Beni's bars, there is no beer shortage.

And this local says it's a 'source of pride' to drink beer made in the country.