It was first at the town hall of Verviers that they went, around 9:30 am, for a working meeting in the presence of the Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden (CD&V), the minister- President of the Walloon Region, Elio Di Rupo (PS), and local authorities who informed them of the current situation and the actions underway to support the population.
The King spoke when he arrived: “We have come here, the Queen and I, to support the population and the authorities in this reconstruction and coordination effort, which is gigantic. We are very impressed by the courage of the people. , resilience, solidarity and the many acts of voluntarism from Flanders too, from all over the country to help, “he said in particular.
The royal couple then took the direction of Ensival, a district of the city of Verviers extremely affected by the floods, where many stigmas are still present. The sovereigns arrived on site around 10:30 am. There, they spoke with flood victims, traders who work in temporary containers, representatives of the Red Cross and also with the Defense.
The visit excited the inhabitants and also applauded the royal couple. “I explained to the King that I had lost everything, that I am going to look for food every day at the Red Cross tent,” said a lady. “It touches us that they come to see us, we need a little courage, it’s hard. After two months, I see that people are starting to get depressed,” said his daughter Jennifer, a doctor, who found the royal couple very moved by the visit.
There, the situation remains extremely worrying for people whose homes have been affected by the rising water levels. If the population has found electricity, gas, hot water and internet are still lacking and nearly 260 meals are still distributed daily, reports Babette Constant for the Ensival Red Cross. The demand for psychological support is as high as ever. “Every day, I meet new people to whom to distribute meals”, relates the person in charge, who considers that the City of Verviers does not sufficiently help the victims. A feeling which is shared by certain inhabitants who also underlined the enormous solidarity coming from Flanders.
Dehumidifiers are also lacking, as are household appliances, heaters, pellet stoves, fruit and even volunteers.
The sovereigns had already come to Verviers on July 20 for the day of national mourning.
Philippe and Mathilde then went to the Athénée Royal d’Esneux, which prepared for the start of the school year under difficult circumstances.