Life resumes in Rwanda’s volcano-hit district

A sense of normalcy is returning to a Rwandan district ravaged by volcanic activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo two weeks ago.

The volcanic eruption in Mount Nyiragogo killed 32 people and destroyed hundreds of homes in DR Congo’s Goma area. It was followed by a series of earth tremors in the neighbouring regions including Rubavu in Rwanda.

Many residents fled after their homes and properties – as well as infrastructure – were destroyed.

In Rubavu, businesses have now started reopening. Schools and hospitals – which had also been shut in the wake of the volcanic activities – have restarted operations.

Some of the residents have however been complaining about lack of government assistance to rebuild their livelihoods.

Sibomana Ibrahim told the BBC that he was forced to move his parents after their houses collapsed.

“We rented a house in Amakoro after our four houses collapsed. I had to remain here to guard our property, I’m now removing soil and debris from the house.

“We have had no assistance from the government, except for food. They told us to wait, I don’t know for how long we’ll have to wait,” he said.

Niyoyita Zakia said she moved to the capital Kigali and later returned to Rubavu and was now living in a friend’s house. She said it was difficult providing for herself and her eight children.

The authorities in Rubavu have said all those affected will get help but have not indicated what form this will be.

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