The Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this past weekend. The eruption and lava flow have severely affected the city of Goma and other villages in this coffee region. Goma, on the shore of Lake Kivu and the border with Rwanda, is the largest city in the eastern DRC, with an official population of 670,000 people, but the real population of the area is likely closer to 2 million. The eruption has caused a massive humanitarian crisis with residents fleeing as quickly as possible, most with little more than their family members and the clothes on their backs.
While our coffee growing partners are mainly located safely away from the city, Higher Grounds has staff, friends, and colleagues in Goma, and our partners at On the Ground have employees who live in the city. We have spoken with some of them as they have emphasized a massive need for funds and aid as refugees scramble to maintain their safety and that of their families.
OTG’s DRC program manager, our dear friend Herman Chirihambali Lwango (left), has been in regular contact. He provided the list below showing the overwhelming need for basic supplies. We have already sent initial emergency funds that Herman is using to care for the refugees in Minova. We cannot overstate the seriousness of the current situation.
The people of eastern Congo need support, and you can help. Because of our deep connections there, we are in a unique position to respond and can quickly get funds directly to people in need.
Thanks for your consideration and support.