AFRICA/DR CONGO - North Kivu: Humanitarian situation worsens

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Goma (Agenzia Fides) - The recent wave of violence in the province of North Kivu (see Fides, 9/2/2023) has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and seek shelter in different areas of the region. Among them is the capital Goma, from where Father Piero Gavioli, from the Salesians of Don Bosco, reports on the humanitarian plight of the entire population, especially the displaced. "The fighting of the M23 militias blocked supplies to the city in the two supply axes to the northwest of Goma, and have caused the three soccer fields of the Don Bosco Ngangi center to fill up with provisional shelters", says the missionary. There are about 3,530 families totaling 26,000 people, including 19,000 minors (10184 girls and 9043 boys). The Ngangi site is not an official refugee camp and is therefore forgotten by governmental and semi-governmental organizations."
In response to this emergency, the Salesians of the Don Bosco Center in Ngangi, in collaboration with volunteers from the Salesian
NGO VIS, have launched a series of initiatives. This includes distributing protein food to 365 displaced children and 357 adults, distributing kitchen utensils to 300 families, and shelter tarps to 120 families. In addition, the missionaries are working to raise awareness of hygiene and sanitation by installing faucets. The infirmary treated 1,844 people, admitted 84, transferred 32 to other facilities and carried out 14 deliveries. Adequate lighting has been installed on the site and a security committee has been set up to prevent abuse. A project for the psycho-social support of the people and a school for the numerous minors are also planned.
Father Piero Gavioli first came to Congo on September 21, 1966, when there was only one religious province of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Africa. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2023)