Seven children killed in fire at DR Congo camp for mudslide victims

A blaze that erupted at a camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where hundreds of families sought refuge after deadly flash floods and mudslides in May, has tragically claimed the lives of seven children, local authorities reported on Sunday.

Located in Mushonezo, the camp provides shelter to approximately 420 families originally from Bushushu, a village situated near Lake Kivu along the eastern border with Rwanda.

In May, the village was devastated by heavy rainfall and landslides, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 400 lives.

According to Thomas Bakenga, the regional administrator for the Kalehe region, the victims were “two young boys and four young girls, ranging in age from one to five years old.”

He mentioned that four adults were hospitalized due to burns.

“The fire started in a hut in the middle of the site, where a child was cooking while the parents weren’t there,” he told media by telephone.

Approximately 360 huts made of plastic tarps and thatched roofs were consumed by the fire, he reported.

“We tried to save them but it was hopeless. The fire destroyed everything.”

The head of a local civic group, Delphin Birimbi, confirmed the number of victims and homes lost, appealing to the government and NGOs to provide assistance to the disaster victims.

Approximately 3,000 families have been rendered homeless due to the flooding and mudslides in eastern DR Congo, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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