DR Congo: Weekly Humanitarian Update, 15 - 21 May 2017
KASAI REGION : AS VIOLENCE CONTINUES, OCHA UNDERTAKES EUROPEAN ADVOCACY MISSION
The violence in the Kasai region continues to affect civilians, including for the first time a wave of 2,200 people, including 14 unaccompanied children, arriving in Kwilu Province. This displacement brings the number of DRC provinces affected by the crisis to 8 out of 26. Since 05 May, some 17,500 inhabitants of Kamonia have moved towards the town of Tshikapa and in the bush in Kasai Province, following clashes between two rival militia factions on the one hand and between militiamen and a self-defense group on the other. In Lomami Province, nearly 4,000 displaced persons arrived in several waves in the town of Mwene-Ditu from Katshisungu. Repeated violence against civilians resulted in hundreds of deaths and burning homes as well as several victims of sexual violence. The Head of Office undertook an advocacy trip through a number of European capitals to advocate for support for the Kasai crisis and the overall humanitarian needs throughout the country. (See our latest situation report on the complex emergency in the Kasai region).
BAS UELE: US$ 14 MILLION REQUIRED TO TACKLE EBOLA OUTBREAK
Four people have died of the highly contagious viral disease Ebola in Nambwa, in the northeastern province of Bas-Uele. This is the latest outbreak of the disease that first appeared in the country in 1976. A crisis management team, which includes international actors such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF, coordinates the response. The authorities announced that some USD 14 million was needed to response to the epidemic that last broke in 2014 in the area of Boende in Equateur Province. More than 400 people are currently being traced for possible contact with the disease. On 17 and 18 May, the Health Minister and the Representative of WHO in DRC undertook a first assessment visit in Nambwa, the epicenter of the outbreak declared on 12 May. One mobile laboratory is operational, a second one will be operational in the coming days and an Ebola Treatment Center (CTE) has been set up.
HAUT - LOMAMI: CONCERN OVER POLIO IN BUKAMA TERRITORY
Two weeks after confirming a polio case in Butumba, Bukama Territory, Congolese authorities are testing a suspected case of polio detected in Malemba health zone. This month, WHO is slated to conduct large-scale vaccination campaigns in the entire Haut Lomami Province and strengthen surveillance to rapidly get rid of the virus. In recent years, DRC has made great strides of ridding itself of the debilitating disease. The last confirmed case of polio was in 2014.
HAUT - LOMAMI: US$ 270,000 NEEDED TO FIGHT CHOLERA EPIDEMIC
From 01 January to 07 May 2017, 236 suspected cases of cholera were reported in Haut Lomami Province. In the town of Bukama, known to be endemic to cholera, between 01 and 14 May, 92 new cases were signaled (25 cases between 01 and 07 May and 67 cases between 08 and 14 May), bringing the total number of cases of cholera to 210 in Bukama health zone since 01 January 2017.
Humanitarian actors estimate that they need at least $270,000 to stem the current outbreak. This amount would be used to rehabilitate the Bukama cholera treatment center, build cholera treatment units and conduct a range of other activities such as community awareness. This outbreak is due to the breakdown of the water supply system in Bukama since 17 April 2017 and the start of the fishing activities in an area that is prone to cholera. The humanitarian community is concerned about the high risk of spreading of cholera.
TANGANYIKA: SOME 1,800 IDPS LOSE SHELTER IN KASEKE II FOLLOWING DESTRUCTION BY POLICE
On 16 May 2017, the Congolese police destroyed all the shelters of the internally displaced people (IDPs) hosted in the spontaneous site of Kaseke II. The operation took place four days after the authorities conducted the first forced return convoy of IDPs to their villages of origin. The provincial authority intends to conduct other convoys in order to dismantle all the displacement sites around Kalemie where over 165,000 IDPs are currently hosted. Humanitarian actors are extremely concerned about this twist of events and have voiced it at the provincial authorities.
Forceful returns of internally displaced people constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. Humanitarian actors are due to discuss with Congolese authorities how best to ensure the protection and safety of the thousands who have been displaced by a cycle of violence borne out of tensions between two communities in the province.
BAS UELE AND NORTH UBANGI: MASSIVE ARRIVAL OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REFUGEES
Their arrival is consecutive to a wave of violence observed in Bangassou in the Central African Republic (CAR) and other areas near the DRC. According to initial estimates by the authorities and UNHCR, 2,750 refugees arrived on 13 and 14 May in the two provinces. The refugees are arriving in difficult conditions and with little personal effects, according to sources present in the area. In Ndu, Bas Uele, they are staying with host families and schools while in Yakoma, North Ubangi, some are staying in public buildings. UNHCR insists on the fact that this area is not affected by the Ebola epidemic declared on 12 May in Bas Uele.