Surface water detected by satellite shows that dozens of communities along the Congo River and tributaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been exposed to flood waters over recent weeks.
Equateur, Nord-Ubangi and Sud-Ubangi Provinces
According to images and data provided by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), as many as 245,000 were potentially exposed to flooding in the provinces of Equateur, Nord-Ubangi and Sud-Ubangi, in November 2022.
UNOSAT maps illustrate the extent of surface water (shown in red) detected by satellite using the VIIRS satellite imagery. In the analyzed area of approximately 210,000 km², a total of about 6,800 km² of land appears to be flooded.
Particularly badly affected are areas near the Congo River in the towns of Makanza and Lukolela, and along the Ubangi river in the town of Bomongo, both in Équateur Province.
Severe flooding affected similar areas from October 2019. By December 2019 as many as 600,000 people had been affected across 29 provinces, according to the UN.
This year the surface water extent appears to be about 4,000 km² smaller in the provinces of Equateur, Nord-Ubangi and Sud-Ubangi compared to flooding in November 2019, UNOSAT said.
UNOSAT also detected flooded areas in the province of Tshopo between 24 November 24 and 05 December 2022. In the analyzed area of approximately 200 000 km², a total of about 1,600 km² of land in Tshopo appears to be flooded. Surface water extent appears to be at the same level as between the dates of 25 November to 05 December 2019, UNOSAT said.
An estimated 70,000 people are affected across the province, including areas of Bafwasende on the Lindi River and Ubundu on the Lualaba River, or Upper Congo. As many as 23,000 people have been potentially exposed to flooding in Kisangani, situated at the confluence of the Lomami and Congo rivers. Around 13,000 are potentially affected in Kisangani, an important inland port.
Flash Floods and Landslides in North and South Kivu Provinces
Further east in the country heavy rain has caused a spate of flash flooding and landslides in November.
A landslide in Kalehe Territory on 29 November left at least 9 people dead. At least 32 people lost their lives in landslides in the mining towns of Rubaya and Bihambwe in the chiefdom of Bahunde, Masisi Territory in North Kivu Province on 17 and 18 November.
On 21 November at least 16 people died in a landslide in Kamituga Town, South Kivu Province.