DR Congo

UNHCR Emergency Update on Volcano Nyiragongo #5 I 23 August 2021



  • Local authorities have registered 23,045 individuals (4,609 households) who lost their house or land during the volcano eruption in Goma, North Kivu province.

  • UNHCR is working with the authorities to plan a biometric registration to facilitate medium term assistance for those rendered homeless, including providing rental assistance for nearly 2,000 households and transitional housing.

Situation Overview

  • The eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano in Goma, North Kivu Province, on May 22, 2021, led to the displacement of over 500,000 individuals to the surroundings areas of Goma, Sake, Minova, Kiwanja in Rutshuru, Bukavu as well as to Rwanda. The majority have since returned home.

  • According to the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) working group and INTERSOS, 7,891 persons are still displaced in Masisi, and Rutshuru Territories, most of them accommodated in host families who have extremely limited resources. In Nyiragongo Territory, 31,904 displaced individuals are still staying in five spontaneous sites (Bujari, Mujoga, Kanyaruchinya, Kayembe and Kanyanja) according local authorities.
    Some of the survivors do not want to return to Goma as they lost everything and prefer to stay in their new location while others do not have the economic or transport means to go back.

  • Local authorities report that 23,045 individuals have been impacted by the eruption: among those 22,395 individuals lost their home or had them heavily damaged by the earthquakes that followed the eruption, while 650 lost their fields, destroyed by the lava. UNHCR will perform biometric registration to identify families individually and to facilitate the assistance.

  • In Rutshuru Territory, attacks by armed groups have increased the risks of human rights violations for displaced persons, including those who fled the volcano eruption.

  • Due to the poor living conditions, women and children are particularly exposed to negative coping mechanisms such as survival sex while children are at risk of economic exploitation

  • Many displaced persons who live in host families live overcrowded spaces with poor sanitary infrastructures. This exposes the risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera, but also increases the risk of sexual violence as women have to walk long distances to access drinkable water.