Kinshasa, Feb 8 (EFE).- More than 2 million people, 60 percent of them children, need humanitarian aid due to the floods in the last two months in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund said.
The Congo River, the world’s third largest by water discharge volume, has reached levels unseen in more than 60 years due to exceptionally intense rains in 18 of the 26 provinces of the country, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Rainfall has caused floods that have destroyed or damaged almost 100,000 homes, 1,325 schools and 267 health centers, the fund said in a statement.
Crops have failed in waterlogged fields, raising the prospect of food shortages in some places.
Forecasters have warned of more rain, raising the possibility that cholera, which spreads in flooded areas, could spread from areas where it is endemic across the Congo River to the northern city of Kisangani and then to Kinshasa. Congolese capital.
In a similar situation in 2017, cholera broke out throughout the country, causing almost 55,000 cases and more than 1,100 deaths.
“Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are facing the worst flooding in decades and the worst cholera outbreak in years. Rising water damages their homes and amplifies the threat of waterborne diseases, putting them at greater risk,” said the country’s UNICEF representative Grant Leaity.
“Without immediate action to provide clean water, sanitation and health care to contain the spread of cholera, widespread flooding could push case numbers to unprecedented levels,” Leaity said.
In 2023, more than 52,400 cases of cholera and 462 deaths were recorded in the country in one of the largest outbreaks in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
The country accounted for 80 percent of all cholera cases in West and Central Africa. EFE