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Congo Declares State of Emergency over Devastating Floods, Landslides

The Republic of Congo has declared a humanitarian emergency in response to floods brought on by persistently heavy rains that have been falling for more than a month.

The government also declared the opening of an emergency fund, valued at $4 million, to help victims of natural disasters and repair damage from flooding in several ministries. Civil society has praised the decision, but people are calling for action locally.

“This year, to illustrate, the erosions were barely where you see the pipes so from November, here we are on January 02, so barely 2 months of rain, the erosions are already at 150 meters” says a flood victim. “The wish of the population is that now that they have the means, that they arrive. Many parents have lost their lives here because of this erosion” he added.

Jean Felis Demba-Ntelo architect, urban planner and former Minister of Public Works said the current situation is not surprising. “We encountered these problems when we drew up the master plan for the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. Let me remind you that in the 80s, we had foreseen all these problems and had said that if we maintained anarchy, we would witness this phenomenon”. “At the time, we recommended that this area be preserved as a natural zone, and today we’ve spent 2 billion to help the local population, yes, but the phenomenon itself has reached a scale that requires 10 times 20 times more, and not just billions, but also an awareness of the people who are putting themselves at risk” Demba-Ntelo warned.

 

Written by PH

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