DRC: Volcano observatory experts say equipment theft affects their job

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By Josephine Lukoya

Goma, DRC-The current volcanic eruption of Nyiragongo which occurred January 17, 2002 has caused the sinking lava 13% and the infrastructure of the city of Goma (North Kivu), but also caused the fall of 80% of the economy province, as the executive director of the Goma Volcano Observatory (OVG), Kacho Karume say.

10 years after the disaster, Kacho Karume said that the province is full of necessary equipment for monitoring active volcanoes in North Kivu, although challenges still lie ahead.

He said a contingency plan was developed with aid workers in 2010 to ensure the evacuation of populations to appropriate sites in the event of possible rashes.

It regrets, however, the theft of the equipment by the population of the city, while the volcano is at risk for Permanet the population of Goma and its surroundings.

“We do not cover the southern part of the volcano and all the equipment that was in the northern part has been stolen or destroyed. The little equipment we have left is the people who continue to fly. That’s the big problem we have, “added  Karume Kacho.

With this equipment, he adds, the observatory is able to prevent a volcanic eruption two weeks before. “We can easily determine where the eruption will happen, but it becomes very difficult for us to monitor the depth of 30 km,” says Kacho Karume.

To preserve the lives of people and their property, the population of Goma recommends the establishment of a comprehensive risk management at national and regional levels. It wishes in particular that the laws on disaster management are passed.

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