Today’s post is adapted from an emergency relief proposal by Dr. Mabiala Kenzo, President of the Evangelical Community of the Alliance in Congo (CEAC).
Just as Christmas celebrations came to close massive flooding killed at least 50 people and left thousands more homeless in Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While flooding is recurrent in Boma, this year’s flooding was even more devastating than last year. Reports state 2,115 families were affected. Among these, 757 families completely lost their homes and 1,026 families lost all their belongings.
There was also serious damage to 13 medical clinics and 18 elementary schools, five of these elementary schools collapsed as a result. Even more, 50 people are confirmed dead and the search for the missing continues.
The Alliance church in Boma opened their church buildings to offer temporary shelter. They mobilized church volunteers to distribute food, water, blankets, and kitchen supplies. The Boma District of the C&MA also organized a love offering to assist those most in need.
“Our reputation in the city is such that we [the church] were put in charge of finances to coordinate citywide relief efforts,” says Dr. Kenzo, the C&MA national church president.
CAMA has joined the flood relief efforts to distribute new school supplies for children, provide cooking pots for every family affected by the flood, and provide temporary shelter. The government is asking families in flood zones to rebuild in a newly designated location.
“We were seeing the worst flooding the city has ever known,” Dr. Kenzo observes. “All the rivers in Boma, including the mighty Congo, [overflowed] their banks in one night.”
Among the dead are some of the children who recited Bible verses in the Christmas church service only days before. In one family from the church, a grandmother was living with her five grandchildren. “Everyone is gone after the mud-brick house collapsed and was washed away by strong currents,” Dr. Kenzo laments.
Last year, CAMA supported flood relief efforts in Boma after 249 families completely lost their homes and 342 families lost all their belongings in Boma. Gifts to the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund provided school supplies for 1,773 children.