Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has urged other humanitarian organisations to urgently step in to help meet people’s basic needs in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following the eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano.
Tens of thousands of people have been left displaced, with over half a million in the city left without access to clean drinking water as a result of the volcanic eruption which claimed 32 lives.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes. It last erupted in 2002, killing 250 people and making more than 100,000 homeless.
‘We are assisting the immediate needs of displaced people but it is not enough’, MSF’s Head of Missions in DRC, Magali Roudaut, said in a statement.
‘More clean water should be urgently provided; cholera is endemic in the area and poses a huge threat to people, including the host communities.
‘There are urgent needs that are still unmet such as food, latrines, shelters, blankets, and jerrycans for water.
‘We demand urgent support of other humanitarian organisations to assist people’.
MSF says it is supporting existing clinics in Goma, and has set up an additional emergency ward some six kilometres from the lava flow, providing access to hygiene and sanitation facilities, while building latrines for the displaced people.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had said that aid organisations were working towards reuniting children who have been separated from their families due to the eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano.
UNHCR says it is preparing to assist those in need of shelter and relief items in the Goma area in coordination with other UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, and in support of the government’s emergency response.
Photo Source: UNOCHA