In DR Congo, pooled funds helped families rebuild after floods

The roofing supplies are distributed. Photo: RHA

DRC | 2023 | CBPF

DRC, South Kivu. In May 2023, torrential rains struck Kalehe in South Kivu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, causing deadly floods and landslides.

DRC faces several complex humanitarian emergencies. This year, about 8.7 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance, stemming from a mix of ethnic, territorial, and resource-based conflicts, compounded by natural disasters like those major floods.

Hundreds of people died in Kalehe, and about 18,000 people were displaced from their homes. Aganze Lupenga, a young mother, was directly affected: her house, like nearly 3,000 others, was destroyed, leaving her family homeless.

Alongside her own children, Aganze also had to care for the children of a relative who died in the floods. She had lost all her possessions and her home, and had many children to feed. “I had been living a very difficult life. I lived under tarpaulins with the children and when it rained, it was tough.”

In the days following the deluge, the DRC Humanitarian Fund launched a USD 3 million Reserve Allocation to help the affected people.

With funding from this allocation, Congolese NGO RHA (Rebuild Hope for Africa) provided affected families with shelters and essential household items. Aganze was among the 3,000 people who got metal roofing sheets and nails, essential materials to construct basic shelters, as well as household supplies and clothing.

With the roofing sheets, Aganze built a simple plank house, offering her family a modest yet secure shelter, but more than that, a step towards normality. The household supplies – blankets, pots and pans, and warm clothes – helped Aganze and the children start to feel this could become a home.

Freed from the worry of safe shelter, Aganze was able to start farming again, growing vegetables to feed her family, and selling the surplus at the local market in Nyamukubi, which allowed her to begin rebuilding her savings, little by little.

“I am so grateful for the roofing sheets. The aid helped me realise we could rebuild and get on with our lives,” she says.

More information about the DRC Humanitarian Fund