News24

Brazzaville blast leaves 5 000 homeless

2012-03-06 22:02

Brazzaville - At least 5 000 people were made homeless in Congo's capital Brazzaville by a massive weekend blast at a munitions depot that left 180 people dead, the government said on Tuesday.

"The tally today is that there are 5 000 individuals who are homeless," said Marie-Celine Tschissambou Bayonne, the senior civil servant at the social affairs ministry, referring to a count of people who had moved to shelters.

Officials had previously put the number of homeless at 3 000.

The government has opened three centres for the homeless in the capital - one at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, one in the Bacongo church of Our Lady of the Rosary, and one in the Nkombo covered market.

A number of homeless people are also being looked after by relatives.

"We have to protect our brothers from the weather and so we need tents, canvas sheets, corrugated iron sheets, along with nails and rafters to build hangers," Social Affairs Minister Emilienne Raoul told a press conference.

A series of powerful explosions at a munitions dump on Sunday morning layed waste to a wide area surrounding the Mpila armoured brigade barracks, in the east of the capital, and injured some 1 300 people.

The United Nations has pledged aid for the homeless.