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DRC: Canoes become only means of transport in flood-stricken areas

Flood-affected residents wait for the distribution of aid from the central government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on May 9, 2023.   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

After the floods, residents of the villages of Nyamukubi and Bushushu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo), are now hard hit by isolation.

Their land access to the provinces of North and South Kivu was cut off by deadly floods.

Lake Kivu has become the only way to the outside world for Justin Mudumbi, who lost 7 children and 2 grandsons.

"No one can come here [...] Even those who escaped the floods must have a canoe to get out and go to Goma. Because there are no more roads... "

Local authorities confirmed on Tuesday that over 5,000 people remained missing and at least 411 had been killed as the water and mud washed away the area.

"One of the urgent things we need to do is to try to build bridges where the floods have cut off the road, because if the bridges are not repaired, we will feel like we have been abandoned and we will be here with nothing left," motor-cycle driver says Valéry Mufanzara says.

Since floods have cut off National Road 2, which connects the provincial capitals of Goma and Bukavu, Nyamukubi residents are forced to look for new ways to get food supplies.

"Goods from Goma used to arrive in boats," Rosalie Furaha laments.

"We used to get the food from this village to Goma, but now there are no roads," the resident laments.

Humanitarian workers and inhabitants rely on canoes to transport both the living and the dead.

" I am from Mukwija, in Nyamukubi, there is no canoe but when I saw how much people suffer here, I went to rent this canoe and the engine and I came to help evacuate people from Nyamukubi to Bushushu... but I don't have any strength left."

As inhabitants grow weary, calamities seem unending. Officials said Wednesday (May 10), that at least ten people had been killed in a landslide after heavy rain hit the already afflicted region.

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