My dear compatriots,
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is with great sorrow that I learned the sad news of the natural and human disaster caused by the floods in the territory of Kelehe following the torrential rains that have been falling on the region for several days. The toll is heavy — more than 170 dead, hundreds of missing, and hundreds of injured and homeless. Agricultural lands as well as infrastructures essential to the local economy have been destroyed by the landslides.
In the face of this terrible tragedy, I offer my condolences to the families who have suffered so much. I express my sympathy to the direct victims and to all the populations of the Kalehe territory.
Secondly, I congratulate the provincial authorities for having taken the measure of the tragedy. I encourage them to quickly make good on their promises, notably to take charge of funeral expenses, to support the care of the injured in hospitals, to mobilize urgent aid in food and other essential products, to relocate the inhabitants of dangerous sites, and to contribute to their decent relocation, to classify certain sites as unfit for construction in order to avoid new tragedies in the future, to urgently rehabilitate the Bukavu-Goma and Bukavu-Hombo roads in order to facilitate the movement of people and goods, and to mobilize the central government in Kinshasa so that it quickly assumes its responsibilities in this tragedy.
Finally, in consultation with the health authorities, certain administrative and customary authorities and certain religious leaders of our province, we have dispatched a team of surgeons and anaesthetists and technicians from the hospital and the Panzi Foundation in order to provide the population with emergency medical aid consisting of kits of essential medicines.
I wish for a prompt recovery of the wounded and an end to these catastrophes that are hitting the Kalehe territory. I have faith in the ability of our people to overcome the painful consequences caused by these devastating floods.
May God protect the people of Kalehe territory.
Dr. Denis Mukwege