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Republic of Congo: Water and hygiene: A priority

17-09-1997 News Release 97/36

The teams of Congolese Red Cross volunteers and ICRC delegates who are helping people displaced by the fighting in the capital, Brazzaville, are not expecting any improvement in the situation with the onset of the rainy season. The need for assistance, especially drinking water, is growing by the day and the impending rains will only hamper relief work. 

The ICRC and the aid organization Médecins sans frontières have set up five water tanks, which are being replenished on a regular basis, along the road leading north from Brazzaville through hundreds of kilometres of savannah. The ICRC has also built latrines and installed showers for tens of thousands of displaced people in the southern part of the capital.

Similar assistance is being provided on Mbamu, an island set in the middle of the Congo river between Brazzaville and Kinshasa, where thousands more have found refuge. The ICRC has repaired a well on the island and distributed the tools necessary to dig more wells. It has also set up showers and dug pits for the disposal of refuse.

In the coming days, the ICRC will distribute canvas sheeting against the rain to displaced persons who are still without shelter.