DR Congo

DRC: Gemena Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRCD019


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since the beginning of the month of November, rains and winds have hit the town of Gemena, headquarters of the province of Sud-Ubangi. Gemena town is located 3 hours by air (979 Km) from the town of Kinshasa. with a total population of 350,511 people (source: Provincial Mayor).

On 9 November 2016, rain and violent winds intensified, causing extensive floods in the Gemena neighbourhoods located on the banks of rivers Mombonga, Sukia and Labo.

The impact of the rains and violent winds caused flash flooding, leaving seven people wounded. In response, the DRC Red Cross deployed 88 volunteers, who are on standby over the rainy season. Volunteers provided first aid to those injured and they were evacuated to the nearest health centres. An assessment by the National Society found that in total, 526 families or 2,628 people were affected by the flooding. In addition, 105 houses have been destroyed: 53 of them completely and 52 partially, while the balance of affected families, 173 families, have lost their household possessions. Four wells (out of seven) in Gemena town were contaminated with dirty rainwater and 200 household latrines, half of those available, were flooded or entirely swept away. The Gemena region is already affected by cholera (source: Direction of Disease Control, DRC Government). Assessment reports indicate that while health facilities have not been physically affected, the human resource capacities are not sufficient and the quality of facilities is lacking. There is a high risk of outbreaks due to vector and water-borne diseases. In addition, there are concerns regarding access to drinking water, sanitation, and other resources required for personal hygiene.

The flood-affected communities are principally engaged in subsistence agriculture. Most of the people affected by the flood are currently staying either with host families and friends or close to their destroyed or damaged houses.

Families are sharing resources and food rations with flood-affected families, thereby stretching their modest reserves. In addition, due to contaminated water source, primarily women and girls now trek for one kilometre to the nearest water source.

The resettlement of affected families is a high priority as overcrowded living conditions could lead to risk of disease proliferation related to the lack of drinking water and insufficient sanitation infrastructure.