DR Congo

DR Congo: Weekly Humanitarian Update (14 - 20 August 2017)

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At least 150 people are believed to have died and an estimated 70 houses were destroyed following a landslide that ravaged the fishing village of Tora*, Ituri Province, during the night of 15-16 August. An estimated 280 children are today orphans, according to provincial and humanitarian sources. On Saturday, Ituri provincial authorities and humanitarian organizations traveled to the remote area to assess the situation. Search and rescue operations were ordered to cease by the Ituri Governor since neither the Congolese authorities nor humanitarian actors have the necessary equipment to excavate the dead bodies. There are fears that the water from the lake, used for drinking and other household needs, would become contaminated. The rapid assessment mission noted that the survivors were in need of both food and non-food items. The provincial authorities have offered to relocate survivors however the villagers have expressed little desire to leave their home area


On 11 August, the World Food Program (WFP) launched its second phase of food distribution for over 7,500 IDPs hosted in the compound of Hodari primary school, part of over 48,000 people identified in schools located across Kalemie. 90 tons of 15-day food rations (cereals, cooking salt, legumes and oil) will be distributed in partnership with MSF/Switzerland. Most of these IDPs came from Lukwangulo, Moni and Mukuku displacement sites following the clashes that erupted early July between Luba and Twa militia. In schools, these IDPs are also assisted by MSF and the Rapid Response Movement of Population (RRMP) mechanism respectively in the health (mobile clinics) and water, hygiene and sanitation (water supply and installation of sanitary facilities) sectors. According to WFP, limited resources will not be sufficient to complete a third round of food distribution.

On 11 and 12 August, the NGO International Rescue Committee distributed hygiene kits, soaps, pans and other non-food items to people who had fled intercommunity clashes opposing Twa and Luba militia in January 2017. On 15 August, the RRMP mechanism closed its intervention in the sector of water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) in the 4 schools hosting these IDPs in the city of Kalemie. During six weeks, each of the over 21,000 IDPs received 5 liters of water per day. RRMP partners also built 100 latrine blocks and conducted awareness-raising activities on hygiene measures. The NGO AIDES will continue to supply water to these beneficiaries until 31 August 2017 pending solutions to be considered by OCHA and the WASH cluster for the continuity of assistance.


On 18 August, South Kivu provincial authorities officially declared a cholera epidemic in the eastern province that has become, for years, endemic to the water-borne disease. Since the beginning of 2017, close to 2,400 cases have been reported in the province.

Health actors are responding to the epidemic but the main challenge remains in the preventive activities. South Kivu’s official declaration came a few days after its northern sister, North Kivu, was also declared in epidemic. In Tanganyika, the situation of cholera could worsen in the coming weeks mostly due to unoperational chlorination points in a number of areas, the dysfunctioning of the nationaly water supply company and the ongoing population movement. The lack of actors and means to strengthen case prevention is another obstacle to an efficient response. In the western province of Kwilu, 16 of some 100 people who have contracted the disease died of the water-borne disease between 14-18 August. Kwilu’s Governor deplored that the province does not have a hospital complex specialized in the treatment of cholera. In DRC, especially in rural areas, one in every two households does not have access to drinking water. Between January and mid-August 2017, over 19,000 cases of cholera including 490 deaths have been recorded, against 16,700 cases and 457 deaths in 2016, repesenting a 15-percent increase during this period. Cholera has become a major public health issue in the country.


On 07 August, provincial health authorities started to distribute delivery kits to some 42,000 beneficiaries, as well as medicine for children aged 0 to 59 months in Komanda and Nyakunde health areas, Irumu Territory under a programme to fight against maternal and infant mortality. In addition, the NGO MEDAIR has concluded its project funded by the DRC Humanitarian Fund that provided emergency health response to vulnerable populations in Komanda and Oicha health zones affected by insecurity triggered by armed groups. Also, over 27,000 returnees, IDPs and members of host families received non-food items/emergency shelter in the area of Boga, Gety, Komanda, Luna and Tchabi. Assistance was delivered via fairs, cash and direct distributions.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.