That food which is the cause of many deaths in IDP Camps around Goma DRCongo

That food which is killing people in different IDP Camps around Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the name of Cholera. The full report in French is here attached ” RAPPORT DE DESCENTE SUR TERRAIN POUR LE PROJET DE COHABITATION PACIFIQUE AVEC LE PDI

The wheat flour which IDPs are selling in the Camps, here they have been there the whole day and did not get a buyer, the following day they will come again.

History seems to repeat itself and the humanitarian aid Agencies seem to repeat the same errors which were done in 1994 and which cost millions of lives of Rwandan refugees in the Democratic Republic. That food which is given to refugees and IDPs has been always a problem, however very few have tried to venture in this field to found out they have really helped on multiplied problems.

Our field visit brings this to the attention of decision makers.

Wheat flour: This is the cause of various health complications especially problems related to stomachache which in many cases has caused the deaths of a number of IDPs according to what they told us, has caused visible cases of malnutrition of many children and has caused other diseases. This wheat flour is strange to IDPs and it is not their common food. In many cases the IDPs are obliged to sell it cheaply in order to buy the type of food they want from the local markets. However it is not also evident that they will access the market or get the buyer. Questions remain, how was the decision taken to supply wheat flour to villagers? It is more than three months that IDPs are calling upon the Aid Agencies to change this food but in vain.

Beans: These beans given to people take the whole day cooking yet IDPs are facing serious challenge with firewood, these beans are also the cause of various stomachache which has claimed the lives of many according to IDPs.

IDP women selling off their beans in the Camp around Goma

Reactions from stakeholders

Recently on Radio France International (RFI) Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) alerted about the death of IDPs in Goma caused by Cholera in some places, however we did observed that cases of those who lost their lives due to the food given might have been perceived as cases of cholera.

We do recognize that there are a problem with cholera in some places but cholera is not the main cause of deaths among IDPs in Goma, the first problem we need to address is that food.




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