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DR Congo Floods, Landslide Death Toll Surpass 400

Aerial photograph taken on May 6, 2023 shows a landslide that engulfed Nyamukubi village, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo credit: Glody Murhabazi/AFP/Getty Images

The death from the floods that ravaged South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend has reached 401.

The provincial governor of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Theo Kasi, on Monday, confirmed the tolls while briefing the press without providing further details.

Kasi said the flood had become one of the deadliest natural disasters in the country’s recent history.

More than 8,800 people have been affected by the floods in Congo, according to the Congolese Red Cross that said of the 274 people buried so far, 98 were women and 82 were children.

Local civil society sources said more bodies were being recovered on Monday, adding to the scores of others that were wrapped in bags and piled into mass graves over the weekend.

The villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi in Kalehe territory, South Kivu province, were inundated on Thursday night after days of torrential rain triggered landslides and caused rivers to break their banks.

At least 176 people were reported dead on Friday as humanitarian workers dug through the remains of the flattened villages to recover mud-caked bodies from the debris with hundreds of people still missing.

A Civil society representative, Christian Bazibuhe said the flood is the worst ever witnessed.

According to her “It is the worst flood we have ever had, bodies were still floating on Lake Kivu.

“The central government in Kinshasa has not yet communicated a death toll. It has sent a delegation to Kalehe and declared Monday a day of national mourning,” she said.

The United Nations’ humanitarian agency OCHA said on Sunday that at least 270 deaths had been confirmed so far with more than 300 people still unaccounted for, while around 3,000 families have lost their homes.

According to United Nations climate experts warming temperatures due to climate change are increasing the intensity and frequency of Africa’s rains.

It said this can increase the destruction wrought by the floods and landslides that were already common in South Kivu.

Poor urban planning and weak infrastructure also make it more vulnerable to such events, it added.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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