The sudden eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on the evening of 22 May 2021, led to two lava flows towards Kibumba park as well as Buhene and Kibati in the North-East of Goma, DRC. 32 people died as a direct result of the eruption (either burned by the lava or asphyxiated by fumes), including three children, while 40 have been reported missing1 , and 3,629 houses were burned. Seven schools, including five primary schools2 and two secondary schools) and 4 health centers3 have been destroyed by the volcanic eruption. While a renovation of the water supply has been undertaken, two neighborhoods remain deprived of access to safe water in Goma.
The evacuation of ten eastern neighbourhoods of Goma city on 27 May led to the displacement of around 234,000 people in DRC. 4 On 7 June, the Governor of North Kivu ordered the return of displaced population due to the volcanic eruption, with returns organized by axis between June 8 and 20: Sake-Goma (June 8-9), Nyiragongo-Goma (June 10), RutshuruGoma (June 11-12), Bukavu-Minova-Goma (June 15-17), Beni-Butembo-Lubero-Goma (June 16-17), Rwanda-Goma (June 19-20). It is estimated that a majority of displaced persons have returned in Goma eitherto their homes or to be sheltered in the site of Kanyarychinya, site identified by the provincial authorities to host 575 households of the 3,629 households that lost their home. Some of the most vulnerable households have decided to remain in Sake presumably because they are originally from the areas most affected by the lava, and despite the efforts of the authorities to help their return (busing, choice of Kanyararychinya resettlement site or free car and bus transportation), which is a matter of concern considering their living conditions in Sake.
Humanitarian needs remain important, considering the destruction of basic social services in the northeastern part of Goma city, and the large scale of the poulatio movements:
• WASH : In Goma, the response is on-going to restore the access to water after the destruction of Buchara’s reservoir and dozens of meters of pipes. While the emergency water assistance is phasing down in Sake, Minova and Rutshuru due to the return of most of the IDPs to Goma. Activities are therefore being reinforced in the return areas.
• Cholera: Since 22 May outbreak, 140 suspected cholera cases have been reported in North Kivu, more than 75% have been sampled for analysis by Ami Labo less than under 10% were positive. However, a clear increase in the number of suspected cases has been observed since 31 May, with 4 health zones of particular concern:: Karisimbi (54 suspected cases including 2 confirmed cases), Kirotshe (49 suspected cases including 4 confirmed cases), Nyiragongo (26 suspected cases) and Goma (11 suspected cases). Overall, to date, and pending additional laboratory results, 6 cholera cases of cholera have been confirmed together with the presence of Salmonella-sp.
• Child Protection : Despite the large number of unaccompanied children due to the repeated popuation movements – displacement, relocation and return to Goma– the reunification process has been rapid. As of 4 June, 75% of unaccompanied children identified in North Kivu have been reunified. It is also important to note the great solidarity of the communities, spontaneous host families and community-based associations in the identification and reunification of children.
• Health and Nutrition: Despite the government and NGOs support, the situation in health facilities remains precarious with an number of patients exceeding the capacities and the lack of medicines. In Goma, assessments are still ongoing to measure the impact of the return of the IDPs on food prices by the authorities and NGOs.
• Education: On 7 June, the Governor announced that schools and universities will resume on 14 June in Goma. Children whose schools have been affected by the lava flows will have to be hosted in temporary schools nearby their living area. Overall, 12 schools require partial or total reconstruction in Goma. In the town of Sake and Bukavu, the schools which sheltered IDPs (13 schools in Sake, including 10 elementary, and 59 schools in Bukavu) will certainly need some investment to replace the filled latrines and damaged equipment.
Access: as mentionned in the previous SitRep, Air, Road and lake traffic is back to normal.