Thousands stranded in Congo as floods wreak havoc


More than 30,000 people have been stranded without shelter in Zongo, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Ubangi region, since mid-October due to flooding and the waters are not receding.

File photo of floods i the DRC

The river Ubangui burst its banks three weeks ago causing the initial flooding. Repeated rains caused the water level to rise. Some homes collapsed in the city of 138,000 residents.

The mayor of Zongo, Placide Kumugo Soko said 36,822 people including 24,000 children were now homeless and in desperate need of drinkable water, medicine and food.

He said he was concerned for the health of the stranded population because latrines had collapsed and there were no mosquito nets.

They are staying on the grounds of the mayor’s office but have no tents or roofed buildings to shelter them.

“There are even women giving birth here but as there is no shelter we can’t house them,” said Thierry Mbakoua, a stranded resident.

A humanitarian coordinator, Blaise Mundemba, said on Friday (November 8) they have been waiting for help from the government agencies for 28 days.

The charity Caritas Congo said neighbouring region of North Ubangi was also hit by flooding saying the cities of Mobayi-Mbongo, Bosobolo, Businga, Yakoma and Gbadolite were badly hit. They are calling for emergency assistance.

Rain has been particularly bad this year in DRC.

Zongo said they had not seen that level of flooding in five years.

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