DR Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo - River Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Date: 16 December 1999

Democratic Republic of the Congo - River Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 3
16 December 1999


1. This situation report represents a summary of the outcome of the mission to Bas-Congo (Matadi, Inga and Boma) organized and funded by OCHA on 12 December 1999 and an update from OCHA Humanitarian Coordination Unit in DRC. A full mission report in French is available at OCHA Geneva.

2. A mission was organized upon the request of the Minister of Health, President of the Technical Commission of the ad hoc national Crisis Committee, to evaluate the impact of overflow from basins of River Congo on the infrastructures in Inga and ports in Matadi and Boma. The members are listed below:

  • The Government: Minister of Health, Deputy Ministers of Energy and Transportation, the Head of ONATRA. The Governor of Bas-Congo participated in the mission after Matadi.
  • Diplomatic Corps: Ambassador of Japan, Representatives from France, Italy, Belgium and Germany.
  • UN Agencies: Representatives from WHO and OCHA Humanitarian Coordination Unit in DRC.
  • Special Agencies: An expert on energy from a German cooperation and an expert on water supply management from the EU.

Matadi: (194,000 inhabitants): The river level was 7.65 meters as of 12 December, while a flooding would start at the level of 9.60 meters. Flooding is unlikely in Matadi in this season considering the current river level and a decrease in the water level from 5.48 meters to 5.39 meters in Kinshasa. There have never been two overflows in a consecutive manner in December since statistics became available.

Inga: The hydroelectric dam in Inga is equipped for facing a significant amount of water and functions normally under the context of chronic under-utilization. However, the current water level of the dam is 99 for the maximum index fixed at 105. Minor water infiltration is reported. A dyke situated for protection of a bigger dam is also affected by the water infiltration.

Boma: An exceptionally high water level that exceeds the maximum level was observed from the beginning of December. However, the port has not been flooded. Areas flooded are farmlands and livestock fields. Sand sedimentation that affects routes of navigation has been observed. Currently, 2 dredgers are used to remove accumulated sand, while their capacity is only one tenth of what is needed for a dredging operation.

3. The mission raised the issues of chronic and structural problems to be tackled:

  • Review/consolidation of the Matadi port infrastructures
  • Sand removal in Boma
  • Nautical marking(signaling) by placing buoys
  1. The Crisis Committee is tasked to continue monitoring the water level from now till the end of December.

National Response

5. Relief operation is now underway. The challenges faced are as follows:

  • To control the number of beneficiaries as many families have gone back home, while many families not affected by floods but by the overall poverty present themselves as beneficiaries,
  • To monitor the threat of cholera epidemics in various parts of Kinshasa,
  • To assist the Crisis Committee in a short term and a long term. OCHA has drawn a computerized map with information on population, geological features including inundated areas, administrative communes, and water supply modes and locations.


Contributed by Govt.
Contributed through
Type of contribution
Value (USD)
Japan (JICA)
emergency relief goods including blankets, water containers, soap, sleeping mattresses, plastic sheets, and emergency health kits
Water tanks, water station/taps, latrines
Cooking sets, blankets, mattresses, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting and water containers
shelter rehabilitation and other immediate needs

6. OCHA is prepared to serve, as a channel for cash contributions for the immediate relief needs. Funds channeled through OCHA will be spent in coordination with the relevant organizations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation of their use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.1 SWIFT-code SBC0CHGG12A - at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA -Democratic Republic of Congo - Floods 1999.

7. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.

8. The international assistance, which has been reported to OCHA as of today, may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website (http://www.reliefweb.int). Given that information on contributions reaches OCHA Geneva from multiple sources, donors are urged to verify this table and inform OCHA of corrections/additions/values, as required. Donors are requested to notify OCHA Geneva of any further contributions to this disaster using the 'OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format', available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

9. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at: http://www.reliefweb.int.

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-12 34

In case of emergency only: + 41-22- 917 20 10

Desk Officers: Mr. Klaus Wiersing, Head, Africa Desk

Ms. Yasuko Sawada, Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer

Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel:+41 22 917 2270/+4122 917 1768

Contact person for the media: Ms. Elena Ponomareva, direct tel:+41-22-917

23 36

Telex 4142 42 OCHA CH

Fax: + 41-22 917 00 23

E-mail: Ochagva@un.org


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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