- Nearly 416,000 displaced persons due to the volcanic eruption
- Return movements of displaced populations back to the city of Goma are observed
- More than 56,000 displaced persons were registered on the Sake-Bweremana axis
- More than 600 displaced persons in Minova are at risk of being homeless
MBUTA MALELA CHRISTIAN
DRC REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REEL PROJECT
BASED IN KALEMIE/ TANGANYIKA/DRC
The city of Goma continues to see a slight return of people who had been displaced by the 27th of May, 2021, evacuation order.
Several churches held religious services on 30 May in various neighborhoods, including those in the red zone.
Activities in Goma are tentatively resuming. Some businesses are open in various parts of the city, including the downtown area and the Birere commercial center. Displaced persons in some areas are having difficulty finding housing. Some are at risk of having to leave their shelters, as is the case for the more than 600 displaced people taking shelter in the Lwanga school in Minova as classes are due to resume on 31 May.
The military governor of North Kivu province visited internally displaced persons in the town of Sake on the 29th of May. He asked them to remain patient regarding their return to Goma. He also assured them that the authorities are working closely with foreign experts and the Goma Volcano Observatory to find an appropriate solution that will lead to a sustainable return for the population to Goma.
The Minister of Industry and former governor of North Kivu Julien Paluku has remained in Goma since the 24th of May to monitor the situation regarding the volcanic eruption and to liaise between the central and provincial governments as well as the Goma Volcano Observatory. According to its displacement tracking matrix, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has estimated the total number of displaced persons linked to the volcanic eruption to be 415,700. They are spread across more than 10 areas in the interior of the country (Bukavu town, Idjwi, Kalehe (Minova), Kabare, Masisi (Sake), Rutshuru, Nyiragongo, Lubero, Goma, Butembo) and across the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in Rwanda).
EVOLUTION OF THE SITUATION
In Sake, more than 56,000 displaced persons were registered by authorities on the Sake-Bweremana axis in the Kirotshe health zone, according to local authorities. They are staying with host families, in churches and public sites. Population movements going back and forth between Goma and Sake have been observed since the 29th of May. According to information received from authorities, partners, and displaced persons, displaced persons have a clear intention to return to Goma. This is true particularly for the adult population, unlike the more traumatized children. The need for psychosocial care for children has been widely stressed by displaced parents, partners, and the Chief Medical Officer of the Kirotshe health zone. In Sake, the population has complained about the lack of cash from mobile money operators.
During a regional inter-cluster meeting on the 29th of May, the humanitarian community in North Kivu committed to providing emergency multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance while waiting for the outcome of scientific research on the evolution of the volcano. Based on that research, another response strategy will be outlined that takes into account the return of displaced persons. The numbers of displaced persons to be assisted on the Goma-Sake, Sake-Minova and Goma-Rutshuru axes are being finalized with the coordination teams and the authorities on the ground.
The REEL Project:
The REEL Project (TRP) has conducted research on the ground as well as collaborated with various local and Intl humanitarian/non-Government organizations (NGOs).
Based on the information gathered, TRP will be assisting 15-20 families that have been identified as ‘vulnerable’ in providing assistance with the following items:
15-20 families designated as ‘vulnerable’ TRP will allocate $100-$150 USD in materials of assistance.
To DONATE to this project or any of TRP’s initiatives, please click here: