Cardinal in DR Congo Expresses “compassion” for Victims of Destructive Floods in Kinshasa

Credit: CENCO

The Cardinal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expressed his “compassion” for and “spiritual closeness” with those affected by destructive floods that reportedly left at least 120 people dead in the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

On Tuesday, December 13, government officials said at least 120 people were killed after heavy rains unleashed floods and caused landslides, Reuters has reported

Reuters has further reported that “entire neighborhoods were flooded with muddy water, and houses and roads ripped apart by sinkholes, including the N1 highway that connects Kinshasa to the chief sea port of Matadi.”

The leadership of the Central African nation has since declared three days of national mourning beginning Wednesday, December 14. It is reported that the death toll is likely to rise.

In a statement issued December 13,  Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo highlights the effects of the heavy rains to the inhabitants of Kinshasa, including members of “religious communities”.


“The torrential rains that fell on the city of Kinshasa in the early hours of 13 December 2022 have once again caused enormous human and material damage, plunging many families and religious communities into desolation and distress,” Cardinal Ambongo says.

He adds, “I am deeply saddened by the current state of affairs.”

“I would like to express my compassion and my spiritual and pastoral closeness to all those affected, and in particular to those who, at this moment, are without shelter or help,” the Archbishop of Kinshasa says.

Beyond the unpredictable character of natural bad weather, the member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) believes that relevant authorities in DRC “are seriously proceeding with major sanitation, redevelopment and urbanization work in the city of Kinshasa, in order to prevent and minimize the extent of such natural disasters.”

The Cardinal who has been at the helm of Kinshasa Archdiocese since November 2018 says in the wake of the December 13 event, the Church’s responsibility in the joint management of our environment “has been activated”.

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In a press release issued December 14, the Directorate General of Migration (DGM) reported that more than 130 people had been reported dead in several neighborhoods in Kinshasa following the floods.

In a December 14 report, Radio Okapi, has indicated that there are 38,787 flooded households, 280 collapsed houses and 64 new erosion heads in the whole city of Kinshasa.

In an earlier report, the radio network that was created by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) and the Swiss NGO Fondation Hirondelle to operate in DRC indicated that the country’s President, Félix Tshisekedi, had instructed the governor of the city and province of Kinshasa to proceed, without delay, to demolish all anarchic and non-standard constructions.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.