Diaspora, Africa – (African Boulevard News) – The Democratic Republic of Congo is mourning the loss of lives following a deadly flood that swept through the South Kivu region. Officials have confirmed that around 400 bodies have been recovered so far. The floods have left several villages submerged, homes washed away, and fields impacted after rivers overflowed due to heavy rainfall.
The disaster has led to a national day of mourning being declared across DR Congo. The country’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, announced three days of mourning starting from May 9, 2023, to pay tribute to the victims.
The flood has also caused significant damage to the infrastructure, making it challenging for emergency responders to access affected villages. Many people are still missing, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.
According to Al Jazeera, the small village of Nyarugusu was one of the worst affected. Its roads were washed away, homes destroyed, and farms submerged in water. “We are very overwhelmed. We are trying to deal with this, but the situation is very difficult,” said the village’s chief, Kibundo Mulamba.
The Red Cross is one of the organizations working to provide relief to those impacted by the floods. Volunteers have been providing food, shelter, and other essential items to the affected families.
The floods have highlighted the need for more disaster preparedness in the region. Experts have warned that climate change is likely to cause more frequent and severe weather events, making it vital for governments to invest in disaster mitigation strategies.
“DRC is one of the most vulnerable countries, with floods, landslides, and other disasters hit them regularly,” said Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Regional Director for Africa. “This tragedy is another wake-up call for the country and the region to prioritize disaster risk reduction and invest in it.”
The DR Congo government has pledged to provide support to the affected families, including financial compensation to the families of victims. However, there are concerns about the government’s ability to provide adequate and timely assistance, given the country’s ongoing political and economic challenges.
As the country mourns the loss of lives, the focus is on rescue and recovery efforts to reach all the affected areas. The Red Cross and other aid organizations are continuing to provide assistance to the impacted families.