Nine out of 12 departments in the Republic of Congo are grappling with severe flooding as the Congo River reaches near-record levels, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, warning that heavy rains have impacted over 336,000 people in the country.
Thirty-four health zones and more than 2,200 hectares of cultivated land were impacted by the floods, said the WHO Regional Office for Africa based in Brazzaville, the Congolese capital, noting that it had allocated 100,000 U.S. dollars for the deployment of first responders. According to the press release published in late December 2023 by Congolese Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso, the number of people affected by the floods far exceeded those of past years.
According to experts cited by local media, the precipitation recorded is twice the usual average. The water level of the Oubangui River, a major tributary of the Congo River, reached a record-high water level in the 2022-2023 period. The water level of the Congo River, which separates Brazzaville and Kinshasa, the capital of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has reached 6.2 meters above sea level, just below the 1961 record of 6.26 meters, according to the DRC authorities cited by local media.
In the DRC, at least 300 people were killed in recent deadly floods caused by heavy rains, the DRC government said last Friday.