Charity builds giant tanks in DR Congo to give clean water to a million people

Two water tanks big enough to store clean drinking water for more than a million people have been built in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to cut deaths from waterborne disease, reports news site Afrik21.

Funded by humanitarian organisation Mercy Corps, the tanks are in the cities of Goma and Bukavu, on the eastern edge of the DRC near the border with Rwanda.

Mercy Corps says diarrheal diseases are one of the top causes of death for children under 5 in the country, and the death rate has been rising. 

The tanks took seven years to build and were inaugurated on 31 March by Juliette John, a British diplomat who covers the DRC. Together, they hold 10,000 cubic metres of potable water.

"This programme will progressively reduce the death rate of children under five years of age due to water-borne diseases," she said.

The average death rate due to waterborne diseases in Goma and Bukavu increased from 4.6% to 5.3% between February 2016 and February 2021.

The facilities treat water from Lake Kivu and distribute it through 60km of pipes.

The project is part of a wider UK aid programme called Imagine. This has also built a plant to treat water from the Murhundu River and distribute it through 90 standpipes.

Image: The city of Bukavu on the shore of Lake Kivu has a population of around 800,000 (EMMANRMS/CC BY-SA 4.0) 

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