Congo

Congo: Heavy rains cause havoc, raise fears of disease outbreaks

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BRAZZAVILLE, 7 November 2008 (IRIN) - Days of torrential rain have caused severe damage to the capital of the Republic of Congo and given rise to fears of water-borne disease.

"It's been raining for several days across the country. There is an urgent need to solve hygiene and sanitation problems," said Minister of Health, Family and Social Affairs Emilienne Raoul.

"We already have four cases of cholera in Kindamba district in the Pool region because of the rains," she said.

In northern and eastern parts of Brazzaville, the rains led to floods, silting and erosion, washing away a section of the only tarred road leading north, Route Nationale 2, rendering it impassable.

"The road has really been cut in two in the Massengo quarter in the north of Brazzaville, as a result of erosion caused by the torrential rain," said Alphonse Pepa, an official in the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

"Several people had to leave Massengo after the landslide," said resident Oscar Mbouala.

Authorities and residents fear further cases of cholera, which killed more than a dozen people during rains two years ago.

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