The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, the Evangelical Church of Westphalia and all African member churches of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) pledge emergency funds totaling 38,250 euros to support the Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA) and the victims of the volcanic eruption in eastern Congo.
On the evening of May 22, 2021, a sudden eruption occurred at the Nyiragongo volcano, located about 25 kilometers from the megacity of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The volcano had last erupted in 2002. Residents in the Kibati district were surprised by the lava flow, which moved toward the Congolese-Rwandan border. The eruption was accompanied by hot ashfall, great noise and continuous earth tremors. These natural phenomena and a large light phenomenon over the volcanic crater caused panic among the population in the city on Lake Kivu. Accidents occurred on the roads, killing at least 13 people. The hot lava flowed under high pressure through numerous villages around Nyiragongo and came to a halt 300m from Goma International Airport. Many residents of the villages set on fire by the lava had fled here to escape the violent conflicts in the Masisi, Rutshuru and South Lubero areas.
Fearing another eruption, authorities have ordered a partial evacuation of the city of over a million people. Thousands have fled to neighboring Rwanda. They are being housed in schools, churches and the Rubavu stadium.
In addition to the large-scale flight of people from the Nyiragongo area and from 14 districts of Goma, more than 800 residential buildings burned. Many buildings were damaged. Stores and homes were looted. Families were separated and children missing in the panic. More than 75% of the agricultural land around Goma burned. The fields that did not fall victim to the lava were devastated by the onset of heavy rains. The crops were destroyed. The N2 national road from Goma to Rutshuru became impassable with the passage of the lava flow, and access to the villages of Kayanja, Buganda and Bugiro was cut off. In addition to a water pipeline, the city of Goma's power supply was also completely destroyed.
The local CBCA church, a UEM member, identified urgent needs in the areas of protection, food security, shelter and health and applied to the international church fellowship for emergency aid. Food, drinking water and basic household items are needed, as well as funds for psychosocial support for traumatized people. In addition, makeshift shelters are to be built and electricity and water supplies restored. Host families who take in fellow refugees are to be supported, as are women who support their families through economic activities. In addition, the conditions are to be created to resume school operations as soon as possible, as soon as the government allows.
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Martina Pauly (UEM spokesperson)
IBAN: DE45 3506 0190 0009 0909 08