“We came back but we did not find anything in the house”

RRMP in Kasai

For almost a year, Charlotte and her children found refuge in the forest (Photo: UNICEF DRC Mbayo)

After months of wandering in the forest, Charlotte, 61 years old, thought she could turn the page and that life would resume its normal course. But when she came back to her village with her children, there was nothing left…

A year of suffering and a difficult return to the village

When the violence erupted in August 2016 in Dibaya territory, Kasai Central, Charlotte and her five children – aged 12 to 21 – left their home, leaving everything behind. For almost a year, they found refuge in the forest. Charlotte still remembers their year of wandering in unsustainable living conditions.

“I took refuge in the forest with my children and we lived without shelter and without bedding. We were devoid of all the necessities and the suffering was enormous. When we learned the lull in the village, we came back but we did not find anything in the house. “

After a year in the forest, it’s another difficult life that began for Charlotte and her five children in their home village…

Restart a new life after months of violence

Fortunately, in December 2017, Charlotte received essential household items to allow her to restart a new life. She benefited from a kitchen kit, a tarp, a loincloth, 3 blankets, 2 mats, 5 bars of soap and a device of hand washing in order to restart a new life for her and his family.

“This relief relieves our suffering at a time when we are short of everything,” said Charlotte.

The local authority of Tshikele village, Mr Casimir, is also satisfied with this assistance. However, he draws attention to the importance of equipping farmers with seeds. In fact, during the clashes, the farmers, who fled, missed three consecutive seasons of sowing. Now there is nothing left to harvest and the children of the village are threatened with malnutrition.

Essential assistance for returnees

In September 2017, UNICEF launched a distribution operation of kits consisting of kitchen sets, blankets, loincloths, mats, tarpaulins, handwashing devices and soap for 1,769 vulnerable households in Tshikela village. This assistance falls within the framework of the Rapid Response Mechanism for Population Movements (RRMP).

In 2017, the RRMP improved the living conditions of more than 2 million people affected by RDC population movements by offering a multisectoral response package that integrates access to essential household items and to shelter strengthening materials; access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation; access to education and free health care and protection of children through integration into school. Technically coordinated by UNICEF and OCHA, the RRMP is funded by the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Common Fund and the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Belgium and Sweden.

More info about RRMP in Kasai:

Translated from French by Sophie Bassi

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Patrick Mukengeshay

Patrick Mukengeshay est membre du Réseau des Journalistes Amis de l'Enfant (RJAE) à Kananga.

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