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Dozens dead in Kinshasa as torrential rains pound DRC ‘miserable’ capital

Dozens of people were drowned and scores are still missing in Kinshasa after torrential rains last week pounded the ‘miserable’ capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The capital’s roads – many of them already in state of deterioration – have been transformed into rivers and ‘little’ seas, making it difficult for any vehicle to move around.

Unconfirmed reports also said that some people were electrocuted after stamping on electric cables left unattended by SNEL, the country’s national power supplier.

Life seemed to have come to a standstill for three consecutive days in this vibrant city of 12 million people, as shops, schools, offices and markets remained closed and people were forced to stay indoors.

In a city lacking everything from drainage and stormwater systems to adequate roads, green spaces, street lighting and adequate sanitation, any sign of rains and storm gets residents worried about their houses, streets and lives.

In December 2015, torrential rains killed at least 31 people and left about 20 000 families homeless, while over 50 people drowned from intense rains and storms in December 2016 in the city of Boma, located some 470 km south-west of the capital Kinshasa.

Photo credit: Aimé Lipoko (FB)

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