On Thursday 4 May 2023, torrential rain triggered landslides and caused extreme flooding which devastated two villages in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The rainfall in Kalehe territory in South Kivu province caused rivers to break their banks, inundating the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi. More than 400 people were killed making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in the country's recent history. Additionally, 3000 families lost their homes and both villages were unrecognisable after the disaster.
United Nations climates experts have stated that the high intensity and frequency of rainfall in Africa is due to rising temperatures. According to the UNDP, there has been a 134% increase in climate-fueled, flood-related disasters between 2000 and 2023.
Floods and landslides are not uncommon in South Kivu, which shares a border with Rwanda. Heavy rains also triggered flooding and landslides in Rwanda in early May, killing at least 130 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes.