The victims of Mount Nyiragongo are still homeless almost five months since the volcano erupted, destroying their homes and crop fields. They had found shelter in a school but have been evicted ahead of the start of a new term.
The families which number about 160 have now set up makeshift tents in the backyard of Kisoko market in the Kasika district of Goma, capital of North Kivu province.
Eastern Congo’s wet season has begun and the tents offer little protection from the rain or waterborne diseases.
The Goma city government’s pledge to find alternative housing for the displaced has not been fulfilled.
“We informed the mayor of the city through our chief of the district, but he instructed us to relocate these families immediately, and since then we have been wondering where to take them,” said Donatien Bagabwa, administrator of the Kasika district.
The authorities have been accused of botching their response to the disaster.
“To forbid someone who was living comfortably in his house to build his house and to leave him in tarpaulin houses, without humanitarian assistance is a serious violation of his rights and a notorious incompetence,” said Jack Sinzahera, an activist.
Mount Nyiragongo went on rampage in May without warning sending hundreds of thousands scampering for safety.
It was later revealed that scientsts working in the volcano’s observatory had stopped operations due to a lack of funds.