May 30, 2023

Tumbler Ridge News

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A week after the floods, search operations continue in isolated villages

With our special correspondent in Bushushu and Nyamukubi, Coralie Pierrette

Bugante returns from the ruins for the fourth day in a row. He lost his wife and youngest child in the flood: They are still looking for bodies and I pass because they haven’t found two more bodies. »

This dad is helpless. Now how will she raise her eight children alone? ” I sent the kids to my parents because I was very suspicious of where we were He says that the heavy rain on Wednesday evening, May 10, made his eyes dark and scared.

The weather conditions did not make the work of the rescuers any easier, but Desiree Yuma Machumu, provincial head of the Red Cross in South Kivu, laments:

« As we are, my teams are searching for the three bodies that have already been identified. We think there are many more bodies to search for. Yesterday, we were disturbed by a tree in the body of a person: we needed a chainsaw machine, which we could not find. So it’s in the midst of difficulties, but throughout the week, I think we’ll still be here. I can announce the end of the search if ever the cases come down. »

Officials tallied 438 deaths on Wednesday, May 10, but since then, Bodies continue to be buried.

Dissatisfaction is growing with villages still cut off from the world

In the east of the DRC, a week after the disaster, villages destroyed by massive landslides are still isolated. Roads are cut off due to bridge collapse. Nyamukubi, one of the affected areas, can only be accessed by boat or on foot. So help was delayed and the exhausted people fell into despair.

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In Nyamukubi, Red Cross rescue workers continue their work on May 11, 2023, seven days after the flood tragedy. © Coralie Pierret / RFI

Along the river, Yseult searches through destroyed houses to recover some planks. In the market where she was on the day of the tragedy, there was nothing. ” I see a lot of rain coming. I don’t even know where my husband is. I don’t have much to say because I’m sorry. »

Jack takes off his hat and stands for a moment in front of the debris in tribute to the hundreds, if not thousands, of those who disappeared: We got robbed and that’s why I stormed home. For medicine, for care, even sorrow, nothing. How can people be insulted? So we are like animals. »

Down in the village, private individuals have stepped in to distribute food and equipment. On the government side, we have also promised to provide assistance, explains Marcelin Bivindo, one of the village leaders: It is very less compared to the population we have and 6 250 people are affected on the spot and thus not everyone can solve the problem. »

An envelope 1 000 dollars is planned for 200 houses: Government financial assistance has not yet been distributed.

Seven days after the floods, South Kivu villagers grumble about government neglect and isolation from the rest of the country.

Coralie Pierrette

read more: Floods in DRC: “Peak of disaster requires humanitarian and government response”, warns MSF