When rebels invaded Goma, eastern Congo’s largest city, tens of thousands were forced to flee as the battle approached their homes. Mercy Corps is delivering clean water and emergency aid to families trying to stay safe in overcrowded camps until threats of violence subside.
Mercy Corps is ramping up efforts to get more water to families who continue fleeing the volatile situation in Goma. Teams are focused on maintaining sanitation and increasing the water capacity at Mugunga 3 camp, where the population has ballooned from 60,000 to nearly 100,000 people.
Photo: Reuters/James Akena, courtesy Thomson Reuters Foundation - AlertNet
Preventing cholera is our absolute number-one priority. In some areas right now there are over 200 people for every one latrine, and 700 people sharing a single hand-washing station. The combination of poor sanitation like this and a shortage of clean water makes water-borne disease a very real threat.
We have the chance to make a real difference here and prevent a very serious situation from becoming worse. We’re throwing everything we have at it.
Mark Dwyer, our Democratic Republic of Congo Country Director. Mercy Corps is working around the clock to provide aid and prevent a cholera outbreak among thousands of people who have fled their homes to escape the recent conflict.
The recent battle for Goma between Congolese forces and M23 rebels forced a large concentration of internally displaced people to flee west of the city. It also severed the city’s electricity supply, idling the machinery that pumps water to most of the city’s population.
Mercy Corps is supplying the camps with additional generator fuel, chlorine to purify the water, and supplies to build additional latrines and hand-washing stations. In the photo above, Mercy Corps’ Senior Tech Advisor Albert Reichert is working to get clean water into a displacement camp.
We are monitoring humanitarian needs in eastern Congo, where rebel forces have taken control of Goma, the capital of Congo’s war-torn North Kivu province.
Mercy Corps has been working from Goma since 2007 to support vulnerable families by promoting sustainable livelihoods, food security, and good governance. We’ve been working with partners to rehabilitate Goma’s municipal water network since 2008, and working throughout the province to provide access to water and sanitation services in displacement camps.
Photo: REUTERS/Jonny Hogg, courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet