Landslides in DRC camp for displaced take more lives
Ten have died in two recent landlsides, hundreds of displaced survivors live in fear of more.
11 February 2009
On Wednesday, February 4, in Masisi town, North Kivu, in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a landslide hit Kilimani camp, for displaced persons, killing eight people. The majority of victims are young children although two teenagers also died. Just days earlier, another landslide killed two children. Heavy rains now could provoke more deadly landslides in the camp. Hundreds of people who have already been displaced by the war in North Kivu are now living in fear of new landslides. In addition to the loss of life, the mudslide destroyed dozens of huts sheltering some of the 4,500 camp residents. Affected families have lost most of their belongings. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) responded immediately, travelling to the camp and transferring five injured people for urgent treatment at the MSF-run Masisi hospital. An MSF psychologist is also meeting with affected families and providing psychological support. Kilimani camp is located in the centre of Masisi town. The initial camp population of 2,000 has now nearly tripled following intensified fighting and insecurity in the region over the past two years. Most of the displaced population are living in small huts on muddy hillsides. An MSF team in Masisi is working at the hospital, in a health centre, and is running mobile clinics in the region. Over the past few months, MSF has also constructed urgently needed water points at the Kilimani camp. MSF is currently the only humanitarian organisation still continually present in Masisi, a region at the heart of the war in eastern Congo. Close to 90 Congolese and 11 international workers are working for MSF in Masisi.