1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Congo, Republic of

Torrential rains kill 13, displace hundreds

Floods caused extensive damage to homes and infrastructure, such as this road in the south of Brazzaville
Damage to infrastructure caused by flooding in the south of Brazzaville, Congo. Nov 2012 (Laudes Martial Mbon/IRIN)

Torrential rains have killed at least 13 people, injured 29 and displaced hundreds in districts south of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, say officials. 

The heavy rains came on 8-9 December. "After the rains, we sent rescue services, who were able to recover nine bodies. The [Congolese] Red Cross recovered four bodies of people who had drowned," said Maurel Kihounzou, the mayor of the first district of Makélékélé, south of the capital. 

The seventh district of Mfilou was also affected, according to a 10 December report from the government, which noted that houses collapsed under the pressure of the flood waters, killing several people as they slept. 

Some 564 families had also been left without shelter, according to Clément Essiéké, the minister of humanitarian action. "We are in negotiations with the national army to get tents for the affected," he told IRIN.

At least 600 people had sought shelter temporarily in a police camp before being asked to return to their homes. "The order came from the police command. We were not given more explanation. Our camp is intended for military training," said a police officer.

The River Mfilou, which traverses parts of Makélékélé, breached its banks, bringing flood waters towards houses there. Military personnel are searching for those still missing in the flood waters.

"At our home, we were practically sleeping outside on mats. We prayed that it did not rain," said Sosthène Boukanzi, 36, of Makélékélé.

Some vehicles there have been submerged. Roads and bridges have also been cut off, and fruit trees and cultivated fields have been destroyed.

"I had a pig sty with 22 heads [of pigs], which were all washed away by the waters. Though it was a personal investment... I don't know how I am going to cope," said Sosthène Boukanzi, a teacher.

"Since my youth, I have never experienced such a disaster. The rain caused panic and grief," Toussaint Loulala, 43, a cemetery worker, said. 

The rains also caused soil erosion and siltation, and affected the movement of vehicular traffic in some areas. The most-affected areas include Bifouiti, Kinsoundi, Latanaf, Makazou and Massina, according to the government report.

On 30 November, a cargo plane crashed during a severe thunderstorm close to the Brazzaville airport, killing 32 people among them four Armenians. 

lmm/aw/rz


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.

We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant. 

But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced. 

You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join