28 May 2021 – Africa – On Saturday 22nd May, Nyiragongo volcano which is located near the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, erupted. As a result, at least 32 lives were lost and nearly 4500 homes were destroyed, leaving an estimated 20,000 people homeless. Officials have since ordered evacuation of parts of the city due to fears of another eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. The evacuation orders followed aftershocks of the volcanic eruption, which resulted in tremors being experienced in the region, on Tuesday. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the DRC already has the world’s most neglected displacement crisis, occasioned by multiple conflicts in the eastern parts of the country.
Landry Ninteretse, 350Africa.org Regional Director said:
“As a climate justice organisation, we stand in solidarity with our comrades and partners in eastern DRC, where lives and homes have been lost following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. The eruption and the resultant evacuation have made an already dire situation of displacement in the DRC worse. We applaud the efforts of humanitarian agencies in moving with speed to offer humanitarian assistance to the communities already affected by spiraling violence, food insecurity, ravages of extractivism and climate impacts that could be further exacerbated, if the proposed oil projects come to life. Communities living in such extreme vulnerability need viable and sustainable livelihoods based on renewables and cannot afford oil battles that enrich only corrupt politicians and the fossil fuel industry.”
Mount Nyiragongo’s last major eruption took place in the year 2002, where 100 lives were lost. The volcano is among the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes. While it is being monitored closely, the worst-case scenario would be an eruption beneath the floor of Lake Kivu, which would force carbon dioxide to the surface.