The Congolese government has instructed Goma residents who fled the city not to return until they have been informed that it is safe to do so. D.R. Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi stated in a press conference on Saturday: "There is an underground lava flow that can arise anytime anywhere in the city…the lava is no longer in the crater, but the volcano remains active, so we have to be wary and that’s why we don’t want to rush things by bringing back the populations”. Scientists have warned of a potentially catastrophic scenario - a "limnic eruption" which occurs when lava combines with a deep lake and spews out lethal gas across a potentially large area.
Of the 400,000+ Goma residents that fled to towns such as Sake, Minova and Rutshuru, many are returning to Goma in spite of the danger because the conditions were very poor in those towns - insufficient food, drinking water and shelter. Additionally, there are increasing concerns of a cholera outbreak.
On Saturday, President Tshisekedi announced that the Congolese government will provide assistance to those who fled so that they have food, drinking water and shelter. He announced that once Goma’s airport opens (a date has not yet been determined), they will fly in aid for the residents and welcome on-the-ground assistance from humanitarian organizations.
In regards to the children we support at GUAOA orphanage, they are still sleeping in very difficult situations given that mattresses, sheets and blankets were stolen by looters as people fled the day of the eruption. Thanks to many of you who have donated towards this crisis, we are able to send funds for food which will help sustain them over the 1-2 weeks.
To address the aftermath of the eruption and the ongoing crisis, our goal is the following:
Provide GUAOA orphanage children with a minimum of 2 meals per day: Prior to the crisis, it cost $1.50 to feed a child per day (2 meals) but now that amount is double due to supply problems and associated price increases.
There are currently 85 children at the orphanage – normally there are 70 with 30 placed in temporary foster homes however some of these families returned children to the orphanage after the eruption.
Replace items stolen:
16 mattresses ($60 each): $960
12 sheets ($10 each): $120
12 blankets ($30 each): $360
Pots and pans: $500
Plastic plates and spoons: $250
Orphanage Security (24/7): $200 per month
We ask for your continued prayers and that you may please help us spread the word about our need to raise funds to address this crisis. Donations can be made on our website here: Support Us | ICA (childadvancement.org).
*Please note that ICA maintains full control over donated funds and, in the event the GUAOA Orphanage Volcano Eruption Relief efforts have been fully funded or otherwise satisfied, donated funds will be used where needed in support of ICA's mission.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleeping Conditions at GUAOA Orphanage