DR Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Red Cross/Red Crescent aids flood victims in Kinshasa

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Owing to heavy rainfall, the river Congo and one of its tributaries, the Ndjili, have burst their banks, causing extensive flooding in Kinshasa. According to the government, around 40,000people have had to be displaced and gathered in 20 different locations situated mainly in the north-eastern part of the city. It is possible that new flooding may occur in the coming weeks.
The International Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement (comprising the ICRC, which is coordinating the relief operation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Congolese and Belgian National Societies) immediately mobilized to assist the flood victims.

Material assistance is being provided in the form of pumps, spare parts and chemical products for the water authority. However, the bulk of the work involves clearing the silt out of three water intake systems so as to ensure that the city has drinking water, rebuilding an urgently needed dyke on the Ndjili that has been destroyed by erosion and rehabilitating a ward in which to treat cholera patients at the Kinshasa general hospital. In addition, the ICRC has installed showers, toilets and water points in four camps for the displaced and distributed hygiene items (containers, soap, etc.).

Most of the flood victims are currently repairing the damage to their homes but have not gone back to live in them yet for fear of further flooding. About a third of them have found temporary shelter in nearby camps, most of which have been set up in abandoned buildings (factories, covered markets). The other two thirds have been taken in by host families.