Catholic Bishops in DR Congo Express “fraternal closeness” with Victims of Deadly Floods

Deadly floods that hit DR Congo's South Kivu Province destroyed homes and left hundred dead. Credit: Caritas Congo ASBL

Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have expressed their “fraternal closeness and solidarity” with victims of deadly floods and landslides that have reportedly resulted in the death of hundreds of people in the country’s South Kivu Province.

According to Reuters, recovery efforts were still ongoing on Monday, May 8 following torrential rains that swept through DRC’s South Kivu Province on May 4, leaving at least 400 people dead in what is “one of the country’s deadliest disasters in recent history.”

In a statement shared with ACI Africa May 8, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) appeal to the government and humanitarian organizations to assist the affected families.

“It is with great emotion and sadness that we have received the sad news of the disasters due to the torrential rains that have fallen these days in the Province of South Kivu, especially in the Territory of Kalehe, causing loss of human life and important material damage,” Catholic Bishops in DRC say.

They add, “This misfortune adds to our sorrow at a time when we are very concerned about the worrying social and security situation in the Provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.”


“We express our fraternal closeness and solidarity to His Excellency Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy, Archbishop of Bukavu, as well as to all the people of God who live in this region. With them, we share the sufferings of all the severely affected people,” CENCO members say.

They appeal “to the Congolese government and humanitarian organizations for help, as well as to the solidarity of all people of good will, in favor of the victims of these disasters.”

The May 8 Reuters’ report indicates that “many people are still missing and are feared to be under mud that covered the two villages.”

The report cites the Congolese Red Cross, indicating that 274 people had so far been buried, including 98 women and 82 children, and that over 8,800 others have been impacted by the floods, which swept away homes and schools and cut off roads. 

A day of national mourning has been held in the Central African nation in honor of the victims.

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In their May 8 statement, CENCO members reassure those affected by the floods and landslides “of our compassion and our prayers”.

“Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, may the Risen Lord heal the wounds of the wounded and give courage and hope to all those who have lost their possessions,” CENCO members implore.

The Catholic Bishops in DRC further implore, “May He console the bereaved families and grant eternal rest to the victims.”

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.