The Observers

DR Congo: Four months after Nyiragongo eruption, victims still living in makeshift camps

Four months after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano, which destroyed several neighbourhoods in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of victims continue to live in makeshift camps.
Four months after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano, which destroyed several neighbourhoods in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of victims continue to live in makeshift camps. © Observers

Four months after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, destroying several neighbourhoods in the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of disaster victims are still living in makeshift camps and poor conditions. Our Observer went to meet them.

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There are at least 6,000 households living in the Kayembe camp, where many families sleep out in the open, or, at best, in sheds or classrooms. They face water shortages and disease outbreaks living in unsanitary and cramped conditions. Our Observer Jack Sinzahera, who went to see the camps, says the situation is bleak and the response from the authorities is not very encouraging.

Although the provincial government has built 970 temporary shelters for displaced families, evacuees haven't yet been transferred to these lodgings. Neither the military nor provincial government responded to our question of when people might be moved. Once moved into temporary shelter, the evacuees would have to wait again, potentially for up to six months, to move into permanent housing.