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Reference : V-P-CD-E-01924
Date : 03/06/2013
Caption : North Kivu, Walikale. Managers of water points are trained following the ICRC's repair of the water supply system in the area.
Photographer : KATSUVA KAMATE, Christian
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website:

21-06-2013 Operational Update

DR Congo: Situation still very precarious in east of country

Over the past few weeks a very insecure atmosphere has descended upon the east of the country. At the same time, new political and military initiatives are taking form. The fate of thousands in conflict-stricken provinces hangs in the balance.

"There are reports of indiscriminate and very violent attacks on civilians, and of increasing strains between various communities," said Franz Rauchenstein, the outgoing head of the ICRC delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "After more than four years in this country, I regret to be leaving without having witnessed any improvement in terms of respect for the lives and dignity of civilians in conflict zones. On the contrary, acts of violence committed against civilians, including murder and sexual assault, remain at a very worrying level and regularly cause the displacement of thousands of families."

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Displacement in Walikale

Like people living in other places, residents of the Walikale territory of North Kivu have been hard hit by clashes between armed groups. There are more and more displaced people there. Fran├žois (not his real name), who lives in Bunyampuri, explained: "When we flee the fighting we usually go to places where we have family or friends. They take us into their homes, and sometimes those who have land give us a spot to build on." To help displaced people and host families from the villages of Luvungi, Kembe and Bunyampuri, between Walikale and Goma, a market for household items was organized on the road from Walikale to Kibua. Zawadi (not her real name), from Pinga, was taken in by a cousin in Luvungi: "We lost everything as we moved around. Today we'll be able to get what we need to get back on our feet again and improve our living conditions a little." Families were given coupons they could use to buy goods of their choice such as mattresses, bicycles or kitchen utensils. Some 40 volunteers from the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were on hand to help out.

In Walikale Centre, the ICRC recently upgraded the water supply system in partnership with the water board and negotiated a reduction in the price of water. "Before, 40 litres cost 100 Congolese francs. Now we can buy 120 litres for 50 francs. We are no longer risking our lives getting water from the Lowa river, where several people drowned," said Anuarite (not her real name), a young mother living in the city.

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Original material : digital
Resolution : 4608x3456
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour

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