Resilience in the midst of turbulent circumstances:
FCPEEP responds to the needs of affected communities in DRC
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) experienced a resurgence of infections and dramatic loss of human life, as a result of a third wave that colossally hit many Africa countries in the past months. Moreover, challenges of limited medical and personal protective equipment and job losses were further exacerbated by the detrimental eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, a volcano in the DRC that caused thousands of individuals to flee their homes on May 22, 2021.
Through GAIA’s COVID-19 relief and advocacy funds, the Front Commun Pour La Protection De L’environnement Et Des Espaces Proteges (FCPEEP), were able to provide support to community members and waste pickers in the South Kivu in Kavumu and North Kivu in Goma, who have no access to medical care and have lost their livelihoods.
“During the pandemic, waste pickers were unable to provide for their families, because of the restrictive lockdown measures in the DRC. When they could return to work, they were at risk of being exposed to the virus without the necessary protection. This has negatively impacted households. With the COVID-19 relief funds, we were able to support waste pickers in challenging circumstances,” said John Ciza, National Coordinator for the FCEEP.
The organisation also distributed sanitary kits, as well as food and medical supplies for those impacted by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. This support reached 25 waste pickers, 50 hospital patients, 30 women who gave birth to newborns, as well as other vulnerable individuals like the elderly.
While the organisation states that these materials brought much-needed relief to the targeted individuals, they admit that much of the population is experiencing great difficulties because of the lack of access to basic necessities.
“Despite the difficulties that our organisation sees in the field, we see our partnership with GAIA as one that will help us succeed in our goal to serve our community and build a society that is united, with respect for human rights and the environment”, said John.
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