The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that at least 600,000 people have now been affected by ongoing floods in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
According to OCHA, 12 of the country’s 29 provinces have seen flooding since heavy rain began in October this year.
The worst affected provinces are North Ubangi (146,005 people affected) and South Ubangi (108,609). The rest of the disaster victims are distributed as follows: Ecuador (figures to be checked); Tshopo (73,317); Mongala (70,308); Bas-Uélé (66,908); Maniema (24,325); Kinshasa (18,840); Haut-Uélé (14,145); Kasai (8,700); South Kivu (1,884); and Kasaï-Central (628).
“The floods resulted in loss of human life as well as significant material damage, mainly the destruction or damage of housing, basic infrastructure (schools, health centres, water points, bridges), and agricultural land,” said the UN. The rising waters also pushed the affected populations to move to higher or safer areas.
In some areas the flood waters have started to recede and many households have started to rebuild their homes. However the material damage and sanitation needs remain significant, according to OCHA. Physical access is generally complex, with some areas only accessible by canoe. Challenges are also reported by humanitarian actors regarding communication due to the limited coverage of telephone networks. The rainy season is expected to end in late December.