Integral Responds to the Volcanic Eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A new Integral alert has been raised to respond to the volcanic eruption in the DRC. 

Photo: © Tearfund (UK)
Shows people in an IDP shelter in Sake, DRC

Five Integral Members are responding to this unfolding humanitarian crisis[1] in DRC and Rwanda.

On Saturday 22 May the Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted near the city of Goma in North Kivu province. An estimated 450,000 people have fled Goma and an unconfirmed number, thought to be tens of thousands, have crossed the border into Rwanda. Some 350,000 are estimated to be urgent need of humanitarian assistance [Source here].

On Thursday 27 May local authorities ordered an evacuation of large parts of Goma which has experienced more than a thousand tremors since the eruption.

Hebdavi Muhindo, who leads Integral Alliance Member Tearfund’s work in DRC and lives in Goma says, “The tremors have significantly reduced but people are scared of another eruption. Some are sleeping outside because the walls of their homes have cracked from the tremors.”

He continues, “The northern part of town has had its main water supply cut by the lava, resulting in an estimated 500,000 people without a source of safe water. Those who are displaced are in need of shelter, food and safe water.”

Integral Members are carrying out assessments in Rwanda and DRC and responding urgently with the resources they already have in both countries.  There have been suspected outbreaks of cholera among the displaced communities [source here] and providing access to clean water remains a very high priority.

Jon Kennedy, Humanitarian Specialist at Tearfund says, “Working together as Integral allows us all to more effectively share the information and resources we have with those best placed to respond in DRC and Rwanda. We value the support of our colleagues from other Integral Alliance Members.”

The DRC is a country already experiencing serious multiple crises – the Norwegian Refugee Council have cited the DRC as ‘the world’s most neglected displacement crisis’ [Source here]. Ten Integral Members are currently working together to respond to needs in the DRC and raise awareness of this neglected crisis [See here for more information about Integral’s first Neglected Crisis response].   

In the initial stages of an Integral response, calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can share information in the critical phase when needs are acute. The Integral online platform enables Members to share photos and stories, response plans and funding needs.

[1]Food for the Hungry (US & Canada), Medair (Switzerland), Tearfund (Canada), Tearfund (UK), World Relief (US).