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James Arthur Photography

Tragedy ahead in Walloon flood zone Flemish volunteers warn

Every weekend dozens of Flemish volunteers drive to the areas of Wallonia stricken by the summer floods.  The floods of 14 and 15 July receive scant attention in the Flemish media today, but volunteers who are still trying to help out locals warn of the disturbing situation in the area with winter in prospect: “People are at their wits end.  They tell me about their suicide attempts” says Mina, one of the volunteers VRT spoke to. “More deaths are on the cards this winter.”

Volunteers report there is still great need in the Vesdre Valley of Wallonia.

“I’m setting off with a fridge, a microwave, a water boiler, a teas-up, towels and toys” another volunteer posts on the page of the Facebook group of Flemish volunteers.  “Has anybody got an address in the Trooz area?”

Mina is one of their number.  She offers psychological help because the mental state of residents continues to go downhill. “I’ve been going for ten weeks now.  That creates a bond.  People take me to one side and speak of their suicide attempts and feelings of depression”.

“Some people panic at the sight of rain.  They are looking ahead to winter with great trepidation.  Not everybody has the means to buy a wood stove.  People are scared of putting anything on out of fear of sky-high electricity bills.”  

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