UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that flooding has affected thousands of people in the provinces of Haut-Uélé and Tshopo in the north of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Meanwhile ongoing floods in neighbouring Central African Republic have destroyed 10,000 homes and affected almost 60,000 people, according to Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Haut-Uélé and Tshopo
According to UN OCHA, 18,000 people have been displaced by flooding in 45 villages in Isangi Territory, Tshopo Province. Isangi is located at the confluence of the Lomami and Congo rivers. Flooding has affected the territory since late October. The UN says no humanitarian relief has been provided to victims, who, according to local authorities, are in dire need for shelter, health and essential household items, as well as clean water and sanitation.
Meanwhile more than 10,600 people in Dungu and Niangara in Haut-Uélé Province are also in dire need of humanitarian support. Recent flooding in the two territories has destroyed shelters, health facilities and schools. Crops have also been damaged. Niangara is situated directly on the Uele river. Dungu is located at the confluence of the Dungu and Kibali Rivers where they join to form the Uele River.
Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi
Around 40,000 people have been displaced by flooding along the Ubangi River in the northern provinces of Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi. Flooding began in October after a period of heavy rain caused the Ubangi River to break its banks.
Central African Republic
In neighbouring Central African Republic, ongoing floods that also began in late October have destroyed more than 10,000 homes and has impacted at least 57,000 people, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Country Director for the NRC, David Manan, said “Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and this disaster is affecting many people who were already struggling to make ends meet. The flooding is so severe in some parts of the capital Bangui that the only way to get around is by canoe.”
The government has declared a natural catastrophe and is appealing for national and international solidarity to support its emergency response efforts.
“People are currently living in overcrowded displacement sites as they seek protection from the rain. There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, mosquito nets and materials to set up temporary shelters to ensure people are kept healthy and safe,” said Manan.
“Stagnant water left by floods are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We fear there could be a rise in the number of people affected by malaria and an outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera if emergency assistance isn’t received in time,” he added.