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Rising from the ashes: life after the volcanic eruption in Goma

Your update on the deadly volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo and how you can pray.

Rachael Adams | 15 Oct 2021

Credit: Tearfund

Credit: Tearfund

In May we shared an urgent call to prayer for the people of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A volcano – Mount Nyiragongo – had erupted, causing hundreds of thousands of people to be evacuated as lava coursed through the city. Here is an update from our team in the DRC on how God has moved and how you can pray.

Goma is a lakeside city where around 1.5 million people live. Homes and businesses were destroyed by the lava, and more damage was done by hundreds of aftershocks.

The city is trying to get back to normal, but thousands of families who lost their homes remain living in temporary sites run by the government or local schools. Some are being hosted by families. Areas that were damaged remain closed and those who used to live there are not yet able to return. It’s unclear when it will be safe for them to move back and rebuild.

Mount Nyiragongo caused widespread devastation to the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo | Credit: Jeremy Riffault/Tearfund

Mount Nyiragongo caused widespread devastation to the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo | Credit: Jeremy Riffault/Tearfund

Rush to help

The eruption also damaged water supplies in the city. In situations like this, the most effective way to provide clean water is through water trucks. These trucks are driven from areas where there is water available, on a regular basis, to cover until long-term measures can be put in place.

Tearfund has been organising this so that thousands of vulnerable people can have access to safe water. We have also built toilets and showers where people who have been displaced are staying, enabling them to live with dignity.

Alongside this, we continue to train people to share messages on hygiene and sanitation to keep people safe from waterborne illnesses, and are providing kits for people with the essentials they need, such as soap and sanitary items.

Tearfund and our local partners have been assessing the damage and responding to help those in urgent need. | Credit: Tearfund
Many people still live in temporary shelters. It’s unclear when it will be safe for them to move back and rebuild. | Credit: Tearfund

Top: Tearfund and our local partners have been assessing the damage and responding to help those in urgent need. | Credit: Tearfund Bottom: Many people still live in temporary shelters. It’s unclear when it will be safe for them to move back and rebuild. | Credit: Tearfund

God at work

‘We praise God that we were able to get funding to allow us to reach people in need in the immediate aftermath of the eruption of the volcano,’ shares Hebdavi Muhindo, who leads Tearfund’s work in the DRC.

‘Thanks to this, we were able to act quickly and meet the needs of thousands of people who had nothing.’

‘While life is beginning to return to normal in Goma – which we thank God for – the volcanic eruption was incredibly frightening for all involved. Those who haven’t been able to return to their homes face the ongoing stress of living in temporary accommodation,’ says Hebdavi.

‘Please keep the people of Goma in your prayers as we do everything we can to help them rebuild their lives.’

Pray with us

  • Ask God to bless the people of Goma and renew their hope as they rebuild their lives. Pray for provision of new, permanent homes for those who currently don’t have one.
  • Thank God for the resources that became available that enabled our team in the DRC to respond quickly and effectively.
  • Pray for long-term solutions to fix the water supplies so that everyone has access to clean water on demand.

Rachael Adams


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