The South Kivu province in DR Congo has recently experienced severe weather conditions, as torrential rains have wreaked havoc on the region. As a result, rivers in the area have overflowed, leaving extensive damage in their wake, particularly in the Bushushu and Nyamukubi villages. BBC News has been closely following the tragic situation as it unfolds.
South Kivu’s Governor, Theo Ngwabidje Kasi, revealed that the death toll has dramatically risen to at least 401 individuals. On Friday, May 5, 2023, at least 176 people were reported dead, with many more still unaccounted for. The situation worsened as rivers burst their banks following the heavy rains on Thursday, May 4, causing severe flooding that left 205 people seriously injured and an additional 167 people listed as missing.
BBC News has reported that in several villages located near the shore of Lake Kivu, desperate locals have been digging through the mud with their bare hands in a harrowing search for their missing relatives. The overwhelming sense of loss and devastation has gripped the communities in the region.
In response to the disaster, President Felix Tshisekedi has declared a national day of mourning on Monday, May 8. A team of ministers is scheduled to visit the affected region in order to coordinate humanitarian aid efforts and oversee disaster management. Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya has confirmed these plans.
This catastrophe in the Democratic Republic of Congo comes just two days after devastating floods in neighboring Rwanda, where 131 people tragically lost their lives and thousands of homes were destroyed on the other side of Lake Kivu. The ongoing impact of these natural disasters emphasizes the need for effective disaster preparedness and management strategies to protect and support the affected communities in their time of need.