Displacement & MigrationNews

#NyiragongoEruption: 25 Million Dollars Needed To Help 103,000 Displaced Persons – UNOCHA

While DR Congo is preparing for the possibility of another eruption, aid groups are trying to assist displaced persons.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has announced that it would need $25 million for the execution of the contingency plan shared by the South Kivu provincial government in DR Congo to assist over 103,000 displaced persons following the Mount Nyiragongo eruption of Saturday, May 22, 2021.

The South Kivu provincial authorities have also announced the opening of sites effective June 1, 2021 to welcome displaced persons from Kavumu and Minova. 

They have equally decided to close the Ndendre site which was already housing 394 persons who came in from Goma. This site, according to the provincial authorities, was not adapted for infants and pregnant women.

More than a week after the eruption, some of the people who fled from Goma to other parts of the country and to Rwanda have started returning to what is left of their homes.

The Congolese Government however says the area is still on “red alert” and has warned residents to remain vigilant. And for many residents of Goma, homeless and haunted by hunger, the crisis is only getting worse.

Aid groups say that several hundred thousand people were displaced by the unexpected eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, the first in two decades, and another half million have been without access to clean water since lava poured into the city’s main reservoir.

The displaced sleep in churches, schools, or with local samaritans, while others sleep in the open. Many residents say they have hardly eaten in the past 11 days and aid groups warn of a possible cholera outbreak.

The Congolese Government, though, says the area is still on “red alert” and has warned residents to remain vigilant. 

The biggest fear for now remains the possibility of another eruption as scientists have warned that a second eruption of Mount Nyiragongo could also set off a “limnic eruption,” a rare phenomenon that, in the case of Goma, could see a giant cloud of noxious gas rise from the depths of nearby Lake Kivu, engulfing the city and suffocating many of its inhabitants. 

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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