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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Catch-as-catch-can

15-10-2003 News Release 03/128

In the past week, ICRC engineers have gone to the villages of Mudja and Rusayo, north-west of Goma near Virunga national park, to set up a rudimentary rainwater collection system. The result is that each house is now equipped with a strange-looking contraption consisting of a 300-litre barrel, a jerrycan, and a metal sheet used to catch rainwater.

The new system supplies some 5,000 villagers.

The residents of Mudja and Rusayo had to flee their homes after the volcanic eruption of January 2002. When they eventually returned, their water supply had disappeared and they were obliged to fetch water from Lake Kivu, almost 17 kilometres away. This has caused numerous health problems.

The new catchment system, set up with the help of local authorities, will enable the villagers to concentrate once again on growing food and will provide reserves for the dry season. Tanks with a capacity of 4,600 litres have been installed in public places for villagers living in makeshift shelters with no roof who are unable to set up their own water-collection system.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Elizabeth Twinch, ICRC Goma, tel. ++250 0830 0461