Officials of Caritas Congo Asbl, which is the development and humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), are currently appealing for humanitarian aid to reach out to thousands of people affected by deadly floods.
Thousands have been affected after River Congo burst its banks, “rising to levels not seen in more than 60 years” and causing deadly flooding, per UNICEF. UNICEF’s report indicated that “eighteen out of DRC’s 26 provinces are affected following exceptionally heavy rainfall over the past couple of months, leaving more than 2 million people – nearly 60 per cent children – in need of assistance.”
In a video message shared with sources on February 7, the Coordinator of Caritas Congo’s Promotion of Solidarity and Sharing Service says that the Central African nation “has been experiencing heavy rains since November, affecting more than 15 provinces. I think we’re now up to 16 provinces where the river has overflowed its banks.”
“People are in dire need of shelter, medical care, food, drinking water, hygiene and sanitation,” Christian Nsangamina says, adding that “over 7,000 households have lost all their possessions.”
The Caritas Congo Coordinator says they “are launching a heartfelt appeal to men and women of good will, to humanitarian organizations, social and charitable works, to come to the aid of these flood victims.”
“The needs in this kind of situation are almost unknown. The needs of these people are multi-sectoral, because when they fled or left their homes, they left everything behind,” Christian adds.
The coordinator reports that two teams from Caritas Congo Asbl “carried out a field visit in the Districts of Limete and Ngaliema, in the city-province of Kinshasa, to ascertain the situation of the flood-stricken population.”
The findings, Christian says, showed that “many households are affected.”
“The floods have forced many to move, in the hope of saving their lives. But as they fled, they forgot everything, they left everything behind. Some were surprised during the night, and others, those who still had time to move, managed to grab something,” the Congolese Caritas official reports in the video recording shared with sources.
Christian adds, “Some of the victims are with their families, others in churches, others in schools, others with friends. Obviously, with the overcrowding that exists in the provinces, you can imagine the conditions in which they live.”