June 3, 2021

Goma: 350,000 People Need Urgent Humanitarian Assistance

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People are still fleeing their homes running for safety

The UN refugees agency is appealing for more help for tens of thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption last month. 

An estimated 450,000 people have fled Goma, about 40% of the city’s population. Around 120,000 of those have arrived in the neighbouring town of Sake in the eastern province of North Kivu. Around 8,000 also crossed the border into Rwanda, though the majority have since returned, says UNHCR. 

The UN agency is seeking humanitarian assistance for 350,000 people. 

Most of the displaced are currently being sheltered by host families, while others are staying in overcrowded churches and schools.

The Displaced people are said to be in urgent need of housing and basic items like sleeping mats, blankets and kitchen utensils. 

The city has experienced more than a thousand earthquakes and tremors following the eruption, most of them small, but some strong enough to level buildings.

Many people’s houses were destroyed by the lava flow, but many more had to leave following the evacuation order for the eight areas of Goma that are most at risk if another eruption hits the city.

“The challenges in North Kivu province were already huge before this latest displacement, as conflicts and violence have uprooted over 2 million people in the province including 450,000 this year alone,” said UNHCR. 

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