Distribution of food relief to refugees affected by the eruption of Nyiragongo Volcano in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo: The forgotten refugees of Nyiragongo.
Some of refugee families in Ngangi II who received our assistance of food items
As usual we do again observe the exclusion of refugees in various humanitarian interventions towards the victims of Nyiragongo Volcano, as all efforts are being directed towards the local communities, and refugees left alone.
In May 2021 the eruption of Nyiragongo Volcano affected areas which are highly populated by refugees who live alongside the host communities. They all left their homes, they all lost all what they had, and they all lost their sources of income. The difference is that many refugees survived on casual works or jobs which they used to get from the local communities but now that is no more, the second difference is that people in the host communities still have all their social connections such as friends and relatives who could assist them, but refugees did not have that, and the other difference is that local communities were granted humanitarian relief aid in the sites which were put in place by the Government but refugees could not go to these sites because of security reasons, most of these sites are located near the border with Rwanda which is the country of origin to many refugees.
As consequences many refugees who were affected by the volcano have not yet received any form of assistance up to now and are living in a dire situation in Ngangi II. The very first intervention is what we managed to do, composed of food items which was distributed to a small number of people.
Some of our food packages that were distributed to the refugees contained food, soap, sugar and salt among others
Refugee victims of Nyiragongo Volcano are in four categories mainly:
- Those who lost their houses and everything they had, ravaged by the Volcano,
- Those who left their homes and moved to other places and when they came back, they found their homes empty and have been directed by the local authorities not to occupy those homes anymore,
- Those who received other people who ran away from the Volcano and together they consumed whatever they had and remained with nothing,
- Those who are being chased in the houses they occupied because these houses belonged to local population and now they want to renovate their houses and stay there because it is considered as safe from the Volcano,
Being confronted by this challenge, together with AJVDC and the Urban Refugee Committee we donated food items to 10 families of refugees who were affected. This was made possible through the money collected from well-wishers who donated to these people. But even now these people are coming to us seeking for assistance which we do not have and their situation is worrying us each single that passes.
In order to account to our partners who also joined this donation drive, we provided these pictures
But the challenges are so many, these refugees are currently more than 500 families left alone, and they lack everything. We still call upon all those of good will to help us to support these refugees with food, shelter, medical treatment, clothes, shoes, water, and so many other things they need. But also to plan for their relocation to places where they may be safe.
We remain available to support them but everything will depend on the donation we may get from you.
Global Refugee Leaders Forum