HomeCase StudiesAdaptation of Lushoze inhabitants in the Luziba marsh to frequent floods
Adaptation of Lushoze inhabitants in the Luziba marsh to frequent floods
The Luziba marsh was invaded by various populations following wars in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and more particularly in the town of Bukavu. Currently this marsh is inhabited by more than 8,000 people over an area of 2 sq.km. When there are heavy rains, a canal passing through this environment discharges water on both banks, causing flooding, loss of material assets and human lives: this has been happening for decades.
Our organisation initiated a program of adaptation and mitigation of the effects of floods in order to help the inhabitants of this area who live in permanent risk, because of the presence of this canal that discharges water during the rainy season. The programme aims at strengthening communities resilience and foster sustainable development in their region.
We included in this programme public awareness raising sessions on the permanent danger they face with the presence of this canal, but also on hygiene and sanitation of this canal to which the majority of toilets are connected and flow. At the same time, we initiated a backfill program in soil and other materials (rubble from houses, soil from various construction sites on the main road, to raise the level of the buildings) so that flood waters do not reach the houses.
Today, an area of 1 sq.km has been covered and floods reduced by 95%.
It should be noted that each inhabitant contributed 3 m on their plot, to create a main road allowing the movement of materials for the backfilling.
Activities were mainly funded by contributions from the inhabitants themselves but also by the participatory budget of the Nyalukemba district.
The project is 100% implemented by the inhabitants of the areas affected by the disasters. This explains the ownership of the action by those concerned. JEVOGRALE is involved only in the ongoing support and follow-up of the implementation of the work, but also in activities related to raising awareness.
For ownership of the activities, all local leaders were consulted before the project started. Each of them used their capacities for the effective implementation of the project.
The mayor, the village chiefs, and the neighbourhoods leaders are involved in the project implementation (facilitation in awareness raising efforts, construction of access roads, funding of gutter cleaning activities).
People living along the Luziba Marsh canal are actively involved in the maintenance and cleaning of the canal to reduce flood intensity and frequency.
Young people and women are actively involved in the activities mentioned above, particularly in the backfilling and the cleaning of gutters. The contributions from the families directly concerned by the opening of the road and directly affected by the floods on their plots, create temporary jobs for the unemployed youth and women in the area. In turn, this allows them to provide for their families.
Young people, women and other vulnerable groups actively participated in the various consultations.
The CBDRM activities take into account the changing priorities of the community in that these activities are periodic and can be adapted according to the context (dry or rainy season); backfilling activities are more intense during the dry season because the road is accessible. The gutters are continuously cleaned. Some activities are updated and amended for better appropriation and mitigation of disaster effects after rains. The municipality of Ibanda in the city of Bukavu has now started taking into account mini contingency plans in its annual participatory budget.
A local development committee is already responsible for the day-to-day technical and financial management of activities. Local youth engage in the implementation of the activities by transforming themselves into local workforce. The project is 100% funded by the local population. Other municipalities come to learn from what has been done for the Luziba marsh to fight against the effects of floods. To this day, the project is continuing and work is being carried out on a day-to-day basis for the backfilling of the road and cleaning of the canal to prevent flooding.
Loss of life has been reduced by 100%. For one year now no loss of human life has been recorded. Vulnerable residents living along both sides of the canal are fully involved. Floods are currently visible only in the areas inhabited by some individuals who resist change and do not have enough means to backfill their plots and to open the access road. Some young people and women in the area already have jobs, even though they are temporary, enabling them to provide for their basic needs on a daily basis by backfilling and cleaning the canal.
The inhabitants are currently informed about the danger they face, i.e. the existence of the canal, hence loss in assets and human lives.
It is the provincial government’s responsibility to support this initiative by granting rights to the inhabitants of this avenue, which is already usable thanks to the courage and commitment of the local population.
South Kivu province has a multi-hazard contingency plan and a provincial risk and disaster management platform in line with the Sendai Framework (March 2015), and also a Provincial Risk and Disaster Management Committee. Our organisation is a member of various networks at provincial, national, regional, continental and international levels.
CBDRM actions at local level are the responsibility of the Provincial Governor, through the Civil Protection Service, a service attached to the provincial Governorate.
There are also other bodies involved: the provincial Risk and Disaster Management Platform, in line with the Sendai framework (March 2015), the Provincial Risk and Disaster Management Committee, the Provincial Humanitarian Consultation Framework Cluster (OCAH).
There are not enough resources for CBDRM but some organisations contribute to capacity building (WFP, OWFAM, ABA, ASOP, OCHA, CORDAID).
The Participatory Budget is a long-term funding mechanism for CBDRM. There are not enough incentives for CBDMRM, however the attention of several local leaders has been drawn to risk and disaster management in two municipalities of the city with the technical support of the civil protection service.
This project has changed the perception of disasters by the local population, local leaders, and other surrounding local entities. This project enabled equipping the beneficiaries with knowledge on issues of climate change (adaptation and mitigation), while even just 5 years ago the inhabitants were not aware of the issues.
Today, people know how to prepare for and respond to disasters. Strong information exchange channels through the local development committee allow information exchange from the grassroots level to the neighbourhood office.
This project has enabled other entities to include risk and disaster management as an item of their participatory budgets.