IFRC


The aftermath of DR Congo floods: the Red Cross supports vulnerable families

Published: 20 January 2017 13:41 CET

By Junior Stephen Penibeck Matock


Towards the end of 2016, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) experienced floods, in two locations.



On 9 November, in Gemena, in the northeast of the DRC, over 2,000 people were affected by extensive floods that occurred in the neighbourhoods located on the banks of rivers Mombonga, Sukia and Labo.  

 

Also, on 26 December 2016, heavy rain caused the river Kalamu to overflow, destroying thousands of homes.  At least 50 people died and thousands have been left homeless. Boma is located in the southwest of the DRC.

 

The Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is responding to the effects of flooding, both in Boma and in Gemena.

 

In Boma, the Red Cross branch has 156 volunteers, who are trained in community-based first aid. During the disaster, 69 of them were deployed to the affected areas.  Among other actions, the Red Cross volunteers evacuated elderly people, children and people with disabilities to non-flooded areas.

 

Given the extent of the damage caused by these floods, and the conditions in which the victims are living, there is a high risk of outbreaks of (vector and water-borne) diseases. In addition, there are concerns regarding access to drinking water, sanitation, and other resources required for personal hygiene.

 

The Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has, and will continue to provide essential items. In particular, the National Society will support about 1,000 families, who constitute the most vulnerable category—as they have lost all their property.

 

As for Gemena, many houses have been destroyed and the population is in need of protection in terms of shelter. The Red Cross of DRC will support 105 families, by giving them shelter kits.




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