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Concern providing 1.5M litres of water a day in DR Congo where civilians are fleeing conflict

Press release4 April 2024
The water treatment facility at Lake Kivu in the DRC where Concern Worldwide pumps and cleans 1.5m litres of water each day day for 90,000 people
The water treatment facility at Lake Kivu in the DRC where Concern Worldwide pumps and cleans 1.5m litres of water each day day for 90,000 people

Concern Worldwide is providing 1.5 million litres of drinking water to 90,000 people each day to prevent life-threatening illnesses spreading in conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The Irish humanitarian organisation pumps the water from Lake Kivu in North Kivu in the east of the country and treats it at a water treatment unit to make it safe to drink.

They are running the water aid operation in response to a serious cholera outbreak spread by people drinking contaminated water – many of them living in temporary homes after fleeing armed attacks. 

The amount of water Concern pumps into the communities it supports, which includes displacement sites for families fleeing conflict, amounts to 547.5 million litres a year. 

“The water we provide is saving lives and preventing severe illnesses,” said Concern’s DRC Country Director Antoine Sagot-Priez. 

“Cholera is one of the many illnesses that can and does take lives, especially children, so we have to do everything we can to keep people healthy.

“The water is pumped to nine different distribution points and from there is goes to 38 different tap stands. 

“We also have a dedicated 100,000 litre tank that fills water trucks to take clean water to remote areas in need.”

Mother of four children, Yanfanshije Kahindo (32), who is benefiting from Concern’s water operations said: “Now everyone can draw water whenever they want, as it is available at any time of the day.”

Concern also provides clean toilets and washing facilities at various displacement sites around eastern DRC – and is also responding to a serious hunger crisis.

The water treatment plant operated by Concern was previously run by Médecins Sans Frontières

The aid organisation is continuing to respond to the needs of thousands of people fleeing their homes each day due to a conflict involving multiple armed groups.

An escalation in fighting between non-state armed groups and Congolese armed forces around 20km from the city of Goma has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people fleeing villages and towns. 

The increase in violence began in early February and has seen areas populated by civilians struck by artillery and mortar fire. 

“People are afraid and have nowhere else to go,” added Antoine Sagot-Priez. 

“Temporary displacement sites are frequently surrounded by armed groups and gunmen.”

An estimated seven million people have been displaced from their homes in the DRC as a result of a number of conflicts in recent years – with 1.2 million of them displaced between March 2022 and 2023.

The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite being rich in natural resources.

Concern has been operating in the DRC since 1994 and has responded to many emergencies in the country, including Ebola outbreaks.


For more information or interview requests please contact Kevin Jenkinson at 


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