DR Congo

RD Congo : Assessment of damage - Volcanic eruption, May 2021

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Overview of Programme

IMAGINE is an FCDO funded programme, having worked on Water Governance and Infrastructure throughout the last 7 years in the cities of Goma and Bukavu. In Goma, the programme has successfully constructed two 5,000 cubic meter water reservoirs and laid over 63.5km of pipeline in Goma, which is the provincial capital of North Kivu. It is estimated that these resources provide water to more than 80,000 households in the city. The assets were officially handed over to the Provincial authorities in North Kivu in March, meaning their management and repair is no longer the responsibility of Mercy Corps, but that of the authorities.

Assessment of damage


As demonstrated in the map to the right, the lava appears to have impacted 5 tapstands within the Munigi locality. 93 tapstands have been constructed through the Mercy Corps IMAGINE programme. The tapstands within the area of inundation are in a state beyond repair but given that the area itself has been completely destroyed and is uninhabitable, it is likely there are no longer people living there and as such, the construction of any new tapstands do not represent an immediate need.


The main water supply pipeline by which water is pumped from Usine at Mt Goma to Bushara has been impacted by the lava and has been damaged in two places. This pipeline is the principal supply main to the north of the city and without it, it is not possible to distribute water. In addition to the main supply, the principal distribution main has been damaged since this pipes are installed parallely in the same trench. Without this, the areas North of Kasika, Murara, Majengo Katoyi, Kasika, Mabanga Nord &Sud, Bujovu and part of Munigi area will not be able to receive water through the network. In addition, the main distribution main to Munigi west has been damaged. Basically most of the north of the city will be without water. An estimated 700m of supply line pipeline and 700m of main distribution pipelines have been impacted due to the eruption. The exact extent remains to be confirmed. The pipeline is located between Buhene and Bushara. It will be possible to repair this pipeline but the materials necessary to do it (500mm pressure pipes) are not readily available in Goma. Considering the circumstances, it would require about 4-6 weeks to repair, after delivery of the pipes.

Bushara Reservoir

Bushara Reservoir is a 5000m3 reservoir providing water to the northern areas in the city of Goma, as described above. It has suffered significantly from the lava spread, with severe damage to the exterior concrete on three sides of the reservoir. On the western side, the concrete has spalled off right down to the external reinforcement. It appears as if the steel may have buckled somewhat. It seems that this is repairable, and that the damage has not permeated right through to the interior of the tank. The only reliable method to better understand the extent of the damage will be to undertake concrete testing and devise a repair plan. This is a significant undertaking and is likely to take some considerable time (the study will take about 6 weeks if emergency and rapid procurement is put in place, and the implementation of repair - around 3 months). Furthermore, a large proportion of the construction supplies (including pipelines due to be laid, vehicles etc) that were being stored at the reservoir have been destroyed.

The main pumps that were to be free issued to the Province to pump water from the lake to Mt Goma 1 have also been destroyed.