As the death toll from the flooding and landslides in Congo surpassed 400, Catholic bishops in the country expressed their deep sorrow at the disaster, while calling for support.
Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisingani, president of Congo’s bishops’ conference, said it was a sad moment for the church and the country, as rescue workers continued to pull out bodies trapped in mud in the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi in Kalehe territory in South Kivu province.
The tragedy was ignited on 4th May following days of heavy downpour in the region near the shores of Lake Kivu, triggering landslides and causing rivers to burst their banks. The resulting sludge covered homes, as it swept away people and farmlands.
“I urge the people to pray for those who have lost their lives. I call for help for the many affected by the floods,” Archbishop Tapa told OSV News in a telephone interview.
“Many people have lost their homes and have been displaced. They have no food, shelter and other basic needs. They need help.”
Picture: Congolese civilians gather in the village of Nyamukubi, 6th May 2023, after the death of their family members following flooding and landslides that destroyed buildings and forced aid workers to gather mud-clad corpses into piles. (OSV News photo/Reuters)