Through Writing Lille
Many streets of Wallonia, especially in Liège, keep the stigmata of floods who touched the Belgium in July 2021. the furniture is neglected and the big boobs dominate the walls of houses. More than two months later, the disaster victims continue to clean and repair their home and their neighborhood, feeling neglected by the government.
38,500 homes impacted
Without electricity on the ground floor, Patrick Sangwa has to go look for food every day in an aid center in Liège, Belgium. He looks at his kitchen and his living room,
two new sofas stand in this long room: “I would like to prepare meals
correct for my children ”.
He lives with his wife and three children in the Angleur district, which was particularly affected by the natural disaster. The Walloon city has 13,780 people affected and two deaths.
In this month of September, the sound of jackhammers contrasts with the silence of
sometimes empty houses. On the roadsides, containers full of furniture
damaged and concrete fragments are still present almost two months after the
Heavy rains in Germany and Belgium killed more than 200
including 41 in the country of King Philippe. In total, more than 38,500 housing units were
impacted including 642 destroyed, according to the daily La Libre Belgique. The floods were
recognized by the government of Wallonia as a public natural disaster in 202
“As soon as it rains, I have water in my cellar again”, intervenes a resident of Fraipont,
in the commune of Trooz, located in the province of Liège. Anne-Catherine Gridelet,
volunteer in charge of identifying the difficulties of the inhabitants, hastens to note the problem
of the senior in his notebook. Here, “the water rose to more than six meters, there were two
dead and 200 damaged houses ”. She continues to tour the village: “The things
are not progressing as they wish. It is not finished. “
“It was heartbreaking to see my house in this state”
In Rochefort, in the east of the country, 69 km from Liège, Benoît Fastrès shows what looks like a
abandoned garden: “There was a garage here”. In this town the events
the materials were considerable but no casualties.
“I was home alone when the water started to rise. In an hour she reached two
meters. »Benoît Fastrès remembers having tried« to save as many things as possible
by putting them upstairs with her cats. Then I prepared a bag by putting something
change and communicate. I went through the window to leave, because the water had risen from
two meters in an hour. “
Two months later, by opening the door of his “childhood” home, the heat and the sun
from the outside gives way to a cold and sinister atmosphere. The smell of humidity is faint
but “it is better to avoid staying too long to breathe this air”, warns the youngster.
24-year-old graphic designer. He testifies to the loss of his possessions: chairs, tables, all the furniture
were “topsy-turvy”. Benoît Fastrès remembers “the heartbreak it was to see
my house in this state ”.
The Rochefortois has a lot of work to do in his house, so he wants to sell it
at auction “as is”. His disaster file consisting of the list of lost items and
hours spent cleaning, was “quickly wrapped up.” My accommodation could be
reimbursed in full. “
If Benoît Fastrès was able to relocate with his in-laws with his girlfriend, for Patrick
Sangwa, it’s not the same story. “It’s going to be very hard”, saddens the dad who has to
still stay in his dilapidated accommodation.
The hell of relocation
The plaster part of the wall was removed to reveal the bricks. “We had to remove
as many mussels as possible ”. “I don’t know if it is due to this, but my six year old son
often plays on the floor and has had pimples around his mouth for some time. My 21 year old daughter and I had a cough and a sore throat ”.
On numerous occasions, Patrick Sangwa called his home insurance, “I have been told
that my file was in progress ”but he accuses the“ lack of empathy of companies ”.
At Fraipont, Jean-Pierre Larose and two of his neighbors spoke about this subject: “It’s true that
the insurance did not worry about my fate ”. The 61-year-old didn’t wait for
rent a container right in front of your bungalow affected by flooding.
“I pay 500 euros out of my pocket every month,” exclaims the automotive technical inspector, making great gestures to accentuate his nervousness. “And I intend to be compensated!” “
He gets out of his container, takes a few steps forward and shows the condition of his accommodation. The same pestilential mold is attached to the walls. “It is no longer habitable but every day I come to air and dry the rooms.” Jean-Pierre Larose confides that he fell in love seeing his home like this the first time. A psychological unit had been set up “very quickly in the town with marauding”, specifies Anne-Catherine Gridelet when leaving the bungalow.
With “170,000 euros of estimate for the work, I do not think of going back to live there before a year and my container is not isolated, I will have to find an apartment for this winter”, moved the sixty-year-old, shrugging his shoulders. .
A little further in the village, a small corner with chairs and a table has been set up for the victims. Seated, a cup of coffee in her hands, Diana Da Rold says that she has “a month to receive aid. It depends on the insurance. “
For the couple of victims, Pascal Dinsart and her husband, who are domiciled in Angleur, “the
assurances were overwhelmed. We were lucky to go through a courtier in
The government singled out
Caressing his Carthusian Angora in his now habitable house in Liège, Pascal Dinsart denounces “human errors. Even though the floods are due to global warming, there has been a lack of maintenance of the locks. “
In Rochefort, Benoît Fastrès shows the vegetation that is starting to grow inside his house. He believes that the complexity of the Belgian government “has not helped”.
For her part, Anne-Catherine Gridelet, clearly encountered “the ineffectiveness of the federal government and the Walloon region. The town is doing what it can. »While remitting
her sunglasses in place, the volunteer from Fraipont explains that there was “a
incredible from individuals ”following the floods. The official who took
unpaid leave to help the victims, tells how they emptied and cleaned the
Pascal Dinsart is of the same opinion. When he leaves his accommodation, he points to his street: “The burgomaster has come here, he’s moving and doing his best. “The restaurateur who” lost everything “warns in an alarmist tone:” a citizen movement is being formed to file a complaint against the State and the Region which deals with dams “.
In the meantime, it will take “years before everything is renovated”.
Has this article been useful to you? Note that you can follow Lille Actu in the Mon Actu space. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.