A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
View IDP camps near Goma, DRC in a larger map
Tens of thousands of people in eastern Congo are living in sites just outside Goma. The two sites pictured below – Mugunga 1, to the West of Goma, and Kanyaruchinya (or Kibati), to the North – both host internally displaced people who have recently fled violence in their home communities:
- Out of fear of the take-over of their area by M23 rebels in Rutshuru, an estimated 55,000 people fled to Kanyaruchinya at the foot of the Nyaragongo Volcano.
- The majority of the people in Mugunga 1, some 20,000 people, have fled clashes between FDLR and Raia Mutomboki rebels in southern Masisi, where their villages are targeted by one of these armed groups. Many people in this site say they have witnessed shocking scenes of violence with people being burned in their homes and decapitated.
Life at these sites is grim. Oxfam and our partners are doing all we can to provide basic humanitarian assistance including trucking in clean fresh drinking water, building latrines and showers and helping people buy food.
Photos: Steven Van Damme, September 2012