In the capital city of Congo, Kinshasa, severe rains on Tuesday produced widespread flooding and landslides, which in turn resulted in the deaths of over 55 people and injuries to dozens more. According to representatives from the local government, all 24 of Kinshasa’s neighborhoods were impacted.
The city in the Congo is home to over 12 million inhabitants, many of whom are now suffering from the loss of close ones. Robert, a relative of the deceased, recounts that they awoke at 4:15 in the morning and discovered that water had made its way into the home. “After determining that there was a greater risk, we made an attempt to divert the water to a different location.” We went back to the house to sleep because we were saturated with the cold. After we went back to bed, the wall collapsed on the children, the parents, and a neighbor who was walking by. “In total, nine people died.”
The torrential rains not only flooded homes, but they also destroyed a great number of roadways. A landslide in the southern part of the Mont-Ngafula district cut off an important supply route that linked the city to the port of Matadi on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Prime Minister of the country, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, stated that the authorities were still looking for further bodies. On Tuesday, Lukonde stated on state television that his team had arrived to do an assessment of the damage. “The primary harm we observe is human,” he said.
President Félix Tshisekedi, who is currently in attendance at the USA-Africa Summit in Washington, has extended his most sincere condolences to the families of those who have passed away. In a tweet, he asked “the national and provincial governments to help” the most vulnerable people and “speed up the building of rainwater drainage” to stop another disaster like this from happening in the future.
According to Alid’or Tshibanda, the mayor of the area, more than three dozen people died in the Ngaliema district, and the number of bodies is still being tallied. In a different part of the city, five members of one family were found dead; some of them had been electrocuted.
Pierrot Mantuela referred to the situation as a “just tragedy.” The man in his 30s had to say goodbye to his mother, his nine-year-old daughter, and his three brothers. He expressed his sadness by saying, “It’s sad to lose all the members of my family.” He said that he was saved since he was working when the rain started falling on Monday night.
According to the officials, a significant portion of the devastation occurred in homes that were built on plots without official authority. “They lack any necessary documentation.” “They are sent away, but eventually they make their way back,” commented Dieumerci Mayibazilwanga, the mayor of Mont-Ngafula, in reference to those who were constructing houses without proper authorization.