DR Congo: Streets in Kinshasa flooded as heavy rain causes Congo river to burst its banks

Survivors walk amidst debris next to destroyed buildings in the aftermath of floods in the village of Nyamukubi, South Kivu province, in Congo Monday, May 8, 2023.
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Justin Kabumba/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Democratic Republic Of Congo

As the Congo river burst its banks, severe flooding spread through parts of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa.

Streets in Kinshasa’s Pompage district have turned into rivers, with residents using small boats to evacuate, forced to leave their flooded homes behind.

Flooding is nothing new in Kinshasa, but the scale of the recent floods is unprecedented.

In the face of disaster, residents of the Pompage district are organizing themselves as best they can, even building pirogues, or small canoes, from scratch to rescue their families and belongings from flooded homes.

Some citizens are criticizing the absence of the state in the face of the extent of the flooding in these working-class neighborhoods, saying that it would help morale to see that the authorities cared.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring Republic of Congo, floods have pushed hundreds of thousands of people to be in urgent need of assistance, said the United Nations Friday.

The rainfall is twice the average of what was recorded between 2022 and 2023 and the floods have destroyed or damaged health facilities, schools and thousands of houses houses, according to the World Health Organisation.

The flooding occurred along Congo’s riverbanks around the Ubangi River with the United Nations warning it could lead to the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera and impede access to healthcare.

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