SOS for the populations of Baraka who no longer have access to drinking water in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo: Cases of sexual violence against women forced to wake up at night in search of water, recorded.

Véronique BULAYA
Posted October 10, 2020 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

The families of Baraka, more particularly women and young girls, no longer know how to access drinking water following the poor local governance of the water sector in this new town in South Kivu. In order to have a few liters of water, women and young girls have to wake up at night in search of water. Other families go straight to Lake Tanganyika to stock up on this rare commodity. This water from Lake Tanganyika is not drinkable, its poor quality is the cause of hand and waterborne diseases, the first victims of which are women, young girls and children. Cases of sexual violence of women and young girls forced to wake up at night in search of water, cases of drowning and serious accidents of women and girls who fight to dive into water holes (wells) have been regularly since.

The chief medical officer of the Fizi health zone, explains that the major part of the Fizi coast affected by cholera includes health areas such as Baraka, Kandali, Kalundja, Katanga, Malindé, Mshimbaki, Mwangaza and Sebele. ‘‘ We have serious problems with access to drinking water. For example here in Baraka, a small city with a population of over 200.000 inhabitants, there are only 3 functional boreholes out of the twenty-two built; As a result of this situation, the population is forced to drink unsanitary water from Lake Tanganyika, considered the reservoir of cholera in this region.

Baraka is a new small town in the province of South Kivu, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Located on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika and the tip of the Ubwari peninsula. It takes its name from an Arabic word meaning wisdom or blessing. Originally, Baraka was a small fishing village. In 1882, the village became the first administrative entity in Kivu to adopt an urban model. On February 10, 2010, it was elevated to city status by the national and provincial government of the DRC. As a town, Baraka was confirmed by the presidential decree number 13/29 of June 13, 2018. It has 215,289 inhabitants over an area of ​​25 km. Baraka is the third largest urban center in South Kivu. Regarding the Baraka town hall, the first mayor Jacques M’mbocwa Hussein and his deputy Tabisha M’mongelwa were appointed by ordinance number 18/164 of December 29, 2018.

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Jill Langhus
Oct 10
Oct 10

Hello Dear Veronique,

How are you and your family doing now, Love? I hope you’re safe now?! Thanks for sharing your sad update, but also for bringing awareness to the dangers of obtaining and drinking the water there. Xx

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 10
Oct 10

Dear Veronique,
This is deplorable, and known now because you have posted it here. Somehow we need to find ways by raising our voices to carry each others' stories further, to demand solutions. Our governments, local, national and international need to be held accountable. Our countries are connected through business and trade and this brings accountability. I hope at least that you know how important it is to publish this news, so that we can work together to press for solutions.
In sisterhood,

Nini Mappo
Oct 12
Oct 12

Hello Veronique,
This is very sad. Thank you for highlighting the plight of women's and girls in search of drinking water. I hope that the local government resolves the issue quickly and more boreholes are restored to operable condition.
Love and care,