Uvira Flooded Again
by PD Lawton, 19 December 2020
The city of Uvira in South Kivu Province, DRC, suffered severe flooding for the second time this year. On Thursday, after extremely heavy rainfall, the Mulongwe River burst its banks and flooded a number of the city`s districts. As far as we know, no lives have been lost but thousands of residents have lost homes and property.
In April of this year, 40 people, children included, died during the last flooding and 15,000 homes were destroyed, including a health clinic.This time, residents had a better chance of surviving as the flooding happened during daylight hours.
Uvira Deputy Mayor, Kiki Kapenda Kifara, warned in April that
”Forty people have lost their lives due to floods in Uvira city. If certain work is not carried out in this emergency, especially upstream of the Mulongwe River, more damage to buildings and deaths will take place.”
Residents are furious that once again they are subjected to the nightmare of severe flooding and central Government`s lack of response in resolving the problem. Since April, flood defences were put in place but these have proven inadequate.
Life is hard enough in Uvira and all of in eastern Congo without problems like this that could easily be resolved.
The dire lack of infrastructure in the entire region is reprehensible. The DRC has one of the world`s worst infrastructure deficits. Lack of infrastructure goes hand in hand with a low standard of living. It accounts for lack of development, lack of health care provision, lack of education provision, lack of employment, lack of trade opportunities and one of the greatest reasons for food insecurity. Lack of development in North and South Kivu and Ituri is the primary reason for the low intensity war that continues to cause needless loss of life and suffering to civilians.