Flashquote on the floods in eastern DRC (Kalehe, South Kivu)

Flashquote on the floods in eastern DRC (Kalehe, South Kivu)

Ulrich Crepin Namfeibona, MSF’s emergency coordinator in South Kivu

Update as of May 8th, 2023

The situation across various locations of the territory of Kalehe is catastrophic following the devastating floods and landslides that hit this area of South Kivu province between the 4th and 5th of May. The catastrophe hit overnight and as Thursday was market day, the population in Bushushu was twice as large as usual.

Hundreds of people have died, many others remain missing and about 150 wounded people have already been admitted in different health structures. Some villages have been completely erased with the floods, including all the houses, the fields and the livestock.

On Saturday 6th May, we arrived with an emergency team to the two most heavily affected areas - the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi - to support the local authorities and the Ministry of Health. In Nyamukubi, around half of the village has been destroyed. Due to the floods, the main road between Nyamukubi and Kalehe is not practicable anymore, which is hampering the arrival of humanitarian aid.

The most pressing need for us was to organize the evacuation of severely injured people to ensure they get timely and appropriate medical care. As of today, our team managed to refer 36 patients by boat to hospitals in Kalehe and Bukavu. We have also been donating body bags, medicines and medical supplies to several health structures to treat the patients only slightly wounded. We will continue monitor the situation in the next days to evaluate the medical and humanitarian needs.

Poor living and sanitary conditions in the aftermath of the floods create high risk of diseases, such skin infections and diarrhoeal diseases, especially in this area close to the Lake Kivu where cholera is endemic.

Shelter, food and other basic items are urgently needed for these communities who have lost everything. We are also seeing children who have lost their parents and need protection.

Hannah Hoexter Senior Press Officer, MSF UK


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