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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Priority in Kivu given to clean water and medical care

08-10-1997 News Release 97/40

The ICRC has completed its relief operation for displaced Congolese in the Kivu area under which 150,000 people received food, seed and other basic items, and is now endeavouring to improve the provision of drinking water and medical care.

In Goma, ICRC engineers have restored the sanitary installations in seven health-care centres and work is currently under way to rehabilitate three other medical facilities. Together with Regidesco, the national water company, the ICRC is extending the water-supply network in two districts of the town.

Further south, in the Bukavu area, the ICRC has set up a gravity-feed system for Nyangezi hospital. The same type of system will be used to supply densely populated areas in the suburbs. Meanwhile, a similar project is nearing completion on the island of Idjwi, where 12 kilometres of pipe have recently been laid to supply Monvu hospital and 12 small towns.

In addition to providing medicines and various other items, the ICRC is covering the running costs of the hospitals in Bukavu, Goma and Uvira. An ICRC team made up of two doctors, a nurse and a radiologist has also set up basic and advanced training courses for the staff of the 170-bed local hospital in Uvira.

Since the beginning of this year, the ICRC has supported 52 health-care centres in Kivu (10  in Bukavu, 29 in Uvira and 13 in Goma). These centres, each of which gives between 10 and 20 consultations a day, meet the medical needs of approximately 270,000 people.