Congo. In the background are buildings and the volcano
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Humanitarian crisis looms after volcanic eruption

The Nyiragongo volcano erupted on May 22, spewing lava over neighboring villages and causing reverberating tremors throughout the region. Jérémy Mouton, Humanity & Inclusion’s Emergency Watch and Preparedness Officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gives an update on the humanitarian crisis now facing the people of Goma:

In Goma, many people displaced by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano are starting to return to the city due to a lack of reception areas and access to services in displacement zones where temporary shared shelters have been set up. And, because they’re afraid their homes in Goma will be broken into, they want to return as soon as possible.

Although some businesses have reopened and transportation services are up and running again, many homes have been destroyed or damaged.

The needs of people affected by the disaster are immense. They are unable to access health care, housing, water, sanitary facilities and food—neither in Goma nor in displacement areas. Displacement has also given rise to overcrowding, lack of privacy, separation of family members and other factors that have exposed people—particularly women, children and people with disabilities—to risk of violence and abuse.

Humanity & Inclusion has worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1995 and is currently providing response in aid to people in North Kivu. The organization is coordinating a fleet of trucks for humanitarian organizations to deliver supplies to people who need them most. Humanity & Inclusion is also planning to provide psychosocial support to people affected by the disaster and to distribute kits containing essential household items such as tarps and blankets to make the return home easier.