Home WORLD Families displaced by volcano in Democratic Republic of Congo condemn lack of government support for volcano news

Families displaced by volcano in Democratic Republic of Congo condemn lack of government support for volcano news

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The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing criticism of the growing humanitarian crisis in the east of the country because thousands of people who fled Goma after the eruption lacked shelter, food and drinking water.

Nyiragongo volcano erupted on May 22, and lava flowed down the hillside, leaving traces of damage and killing dozens of people.

Nearly 400,000 people in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, had to flee.

Although many people fled to Rutshuru in the north and Minova in South Kivu, as many as a quarter of them went to Sak, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) to the northwest.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) told AFP that between 100,000 and 180,000 people have taken refuge in Sake, adding 70,000 to the area’s population, and stated that cholera is a risk due to the area’s efforts to absorb the effects.

Many people seeking refuge in the town of Sake complained about the lack of state support and stated that they wanted to go home-even at the risk of continuing earthquakes and more volcanic eruptions.

“It is not easy to live here. I have been sick for two days, and no one can express my pain and let them take me back to my city,” Clauding Sinziimana, a widow who fled the volcano, told Al Jazeera. .

“I would rather die of the gas from a volcano than the famine here [the town of] Sake,” she added.

Claudine Sinziyimana, 69, widow escaping a volcanic eruption [Esdras Tsongo/Al Jazeera]

President Felix Tsisekedi said on Saturday that the situation in Goma was “serious but controllable”.

He advised those who fled them not to return after a week of aftershocks.

Tshisekedi warned: “There may be underground lava flows anywhere in the city at any time.”

“The lava is no longer in the crater, but the volcano is still active, so we have to be vigilant, which is why we don’t want to act hastily by bringing back people,” he said.

A report issued by the Volcano Goma Observatory (OVG) on Saturday stated that 61 earthquakes have occurred in the area in the past 24 hours.

The United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA said after the eruption that more than 4,500 houses were destroyed by lava, affecting approximately 20,000 people.

Although many of the displaced people of sake live in places of worship and community centers, many do not have any shelter at all.

“Our house was burned down by the volcano. We also lost business because of the volcano. We spent the night in a 19-person house with other displaced people,” Clarice Matofali said.

“We suffocated [feeling suffocated] Because there are many in a small house. If the government cannot give us food, at least give us a place to sleep here,” she added.

Clarice Matofali, the child on her back, husband and grandmother after the family discusses how to leave the sake village [Esdras Tsongo/Al Jazeera]

Médecins Sans Frontières stated that they have deployed to solve the problem of water shortages, transporting supplies and distributing water by tanker trucks, but more is needed, noting that food, shelter and medicine are other major needs.

“This crisis requires assistance and immediate intervention,” Magali Rudow, the head of MSF’s mission in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, told AFP.

The military said that rescue is heading to the area. But many displaced people questioned why they had not received any government support a week after the volcano erupted.

“Since we left Goma, we have not had any help. We eat very hard. The specialty here is porridge. Our children will starve to death,” Kabugho Malimingi said.

“I have seven children and two of them have had diarrhea because of the poor water quality in the village. Let the government help us. Either give us food or let us go home,” she said.

Kabugho Malimingi, left, displaced people after volcanic eruption [Esdras Tsongo/Al Jazeera]

A large number of international aid organizations have existed in Goma, and the area has been subjected to 30 years of violence by dozens of armed groups, many of which are the legacy of two regional wars between 1996 and 2003.

In addition to the trials of the displaced, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents in exile-humanitarian organizations are eager to resolve this situation.

Additional reporting by Esdras Tsongo in Sake.



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