Floods in DRC kill at least 350 people - over 4,393 missing, and 107,000 displaced

Photo of some houses destroyed by the floods in Kalehe
Monday, May 8, 2023
  • Most dead are being buried in mass graves
  • Hundreds of homes, a market, two schools, a health center, a multi-purpose hall and a warehouse wiped out
  • Humanitarian access almost impossible in some areas

 Monday, 8th May, 2023, Kinshasa, DRC - Over 350 people have died, 4,393 are missing and more than100,000 are displaced following flash floods and landslides in Kalehe, a territory in the South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo said international NGO, World Vision.

"By this morning 351 bodies were recovered, and most are now being buried in mass graves. says Jean Baptiste Mirindi, Senior Officer Communication.

“Last Thursday evening, the Nyamukubi and Chishova rivers overflowed their banks and washed away everything in their path. Homes, a market, two schools, a health centre, a multi-purpose hall and a warehouse were wiped out in one of the communities at the foot of the green hills of Kalehe.”  he said.

World Vision is warning that humanitarian access has been made almost impossible in some areas because key roads to the affected areas in the villages of Bushushu, Nyamukubi and Rambira have been made impassable by the rains, hampering early response. As a result, affected families are yet to be reached with much needed assistance and increased death toll is likely without immediate support. 

“It is likely that this humanitarian disaster will get less attention than some others do. But these lives are just as important as any other. We call on the international community to do everything they can to help us, and other NGOs, to access communities whose lives have been devastated by these floods. We must  do everything we can to avoid further life loss” said Mirindi.

The international aid agency is seeing the pattern of natural disasters increase, as climate change has devastating impacts for the world’s most vulnerable.

“We are witnessing a very worrying pattern. Climate change is causing flooding and landslides here and in many other locations in DRC. Those least responsible for climate change are the ones suffering the most. Lives are being lost here; and the rest of the world cannot stand by and watch as regular floods, landslides, and severe weather-related incidents kill people, including children, and wash away years of invested development effort,” says Aline Napon World Vision’s National Director in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

World Vision has dispatched a team to assess the immediate and anticipated impact of this current flooding. And warns that in addition to water, food, shelter, medicines and essential needs, cholera is also a real threat that must be taken seriously.

“The humanitarian community, government, donors and keys stakeholders need to do more anticipatory programming to address these climate related challenges. The people of DRC are suffering because of climate change. The global community has a responsibility to address this.” said Ms  Napon.


Notes to editors:

Statistics have been drawn from UNOCHA, and the local coordination team in Kalehe. 


National Director: Aline Napon  -Aline_Napon@wvi.org 

East Zone Director: David Munkley – David_Munkley@wvi.org 

SHR Director: Patrick Saah – Patrick_Saah@wvi.org 

World Visionis a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty andinjustice.  

World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision