DRC: Persistent water shortages continue to impact livelihoods in Goma

People gather at the side of an explosion in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Friday, May, 3, 2024.
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Dozens of women bring their empty jerry cans to the public fountain in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, to fetch drinking water for their families.

But the wait at the fountain can last several hours.

The city has been hit by a water shortage due to its adduction system reaching its limits as the city is growing and displaced people fleeing the war are considerably increasing the number of its inhabitants.

The population has started to complain more and more about the lack of water.

Local resident Angel Chibalonza is at the fountain looking for water.

“We don’t know if REGIDESO (Water distribution Company) is waiting for the new government to come out so that they can give us water, we wonder,” she says.

“The sun is strong, the displaced people have become numerous. There’s no water. Look, the water that is here is going to leave (be turned off) soon. We arrive here at 11 pm and leave here at 10 am (after 11 hours waiting to fill their jerrycans with water). We don’t know what we’re supposed to do,” she adds.

Water agency officials are well aware of the problem in this city of almost a million inhabitants, located on the north shore of Lake Kivu at an altitude of around 1,500 metres.

Bin Tele Muhindo Muson is an ICRC employee inspecting water supply works financed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“There were complaints from the population, which were registered either with the Water Agency (a government agency) and even some that reached us at the ICRC, which led us to assess the (water supply) system itself and find ways of resolving them. That’s why the ICRC has invested in finding a solution to the water supply issue”, he says.

To find a solution to the water supply problem, the ICRC has funded a construction project to increase the water supply in Goma to the tune of one million dollars.

Construction work on Goma’s new water supply project began a few weeks ago and should be completed within a few months.

Additional sources • AP

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