DR Congo – Dozens Dead After Floods and Landslides in Kinshasa

Dozens of people have died after heavy rain caused flash floods and landslides in the city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to latest reports, 41 people have died since heavy rain struck overnight, 25 to 26 November, 2019. Local media said several rivers in the city broke their banks, including the Ndjili River, causing damaging floods.

The heavy rain also triggered several landslides which have destroyed roads, three bridges and hundreds of homes.

Radio Okapi reported 17 fatalities in the hilly areas of Mont Ngafula commune. The communes of Lemba and Cite Universitaire were also badly affected, with at least 15 fatalities reported in the area.

Fatal floods and landslides are frequent in Kinshasa, a city of over 11 million population. Heavy rain caused flash floods in early October this year, leaving at least 6 people dead and around 30 houses destroyed. Further heavy rain and floods hit the city from 14 October.

In January 2018, over 30 people were killed after severe flash floods and landslides hit Kinshasa.

It was a similar story in November 2015 when over 20 people died in floods in the city.

Many locals blame the city’s poor infrastructure, lack of adequate drainage and poor planning resulting in densely populated housing built in flood- or landslide-risk areas.

Other cities in the country are also at risk. Over 50 people died, 1,000 homes were destroyed and 10,000 made homeless after flash floods in the port city of Boma, situated on the Congo River about 80km from the Atlantic Ocean and 280km south-west of Kinshasa.

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