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Humanitarian Emergency Declared in Republic of Congo as Flooding Worsens

A state of humanitarian emergency has been declared in the Republic of Congo following devastating flooding caused by continuous heavy rains for over a month. The government has allocated an emergency fund of $4 million to provide aid to disaster victims and address the extensive damage caused by flooding in various departments.

The decision to release the emergency fund has been met with approval from civil society. However, individuals on the ground are urging immediate action to address the urgent situation caused by the ongoing rains and resulting flooding.

One flood victim expressed concern about the rapid erosion, stating, “This year, to illustrate, the erosions were barely where you see the pipes, so from November, here we are on January 02, barely two months of rain, and the erosions are already at 150 meters.” He emphasized the urgent need for assistance, noting that many lives have been lost due to the erosion.

The flooding has affected more than 360 villages and 36 districts across the country, impacting over 320,000 people. Tragically, at least 17 people have lost their lives, and six individuals remain missing. Urban planners are alarmed by the scale of the disaster and are calling for collective responsibility in addressing the current crisis.

Jean Felis Demba-Ntelo, an architect, urban planner, and former Minister of Public Works, highlighted that the current situation was foreseen when the master plan for the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire was developed in the 80s. 

He emphasized the importance of preserving natural zones and raised concerns about the current lack of awareness and planning, stating, “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.”

Africanews correspondent Cédric Lyonnel SEHOSSOLO reports that people are doing their best to minimize the risk of landslides. Meteorologists predict that the rains will persist for the next few months, heightening the urgency of the situation. Sehossolo emphasized the need for immediate action, stating that the situation is more urgent than ever.

Source: AfricaNews

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