“We invite and appeal to the international community to take control of this disaster in order to provide a response and save our people,” he said, adding, “We continue our role as facilitators, as communicators. We continue to observe, collect information and now see how to communicate to those who had left, but also to those who were returning.”
Meanwhile, speaking to journalists May 29, Bishop Ngumbi of Goma Diocese said that with a large number of people needing assistance, the people of God from neighboring cities need to “open their doors and receive the displaced.”
He further invited the Clergy and Religious with means of transport to “make them available to vulnerable people.”
Bishop Ngumbi cautioned the inhabitants of Goma against rushing to return to their respective homes saying “they must remain attentive and vigilant while waiting for the decision of the authorities, because the volcano is unpredictable.”
On their part, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) have expressed their “solidarity and spiritual closeness with the people of Goma” following the volcanic eruption.
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In a message issued Saturday, May 29, the Catholic Bishops in DRC say they are “closely following the situation in the city of Goma and in the territory of Nyiragongo.”
“We are deeply saddened by this disaster which occurred within the context of a crisis caused by insecurity in the province of North Kivu and the COVID-19 pandemic. We express our solidarity and spiritual closeness with the people of Goma and Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele,” the Catholic Bishops say in their message signed by CENCO President, Archbishop Marcel Utembi.
They implore, “May the Spirit of the risen Christ console the afflicted and touch the hearts of people of good will so that the surge of solidarity observed in the population is materialized by humanitarian actions in favor of our brothers and sisters affected by these unfortunate events.”
On his part, President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi urges vigilance saying, “The situation is under control. What is certain is that today, the lava is no longer on the crater, but the volcano remains active. We have to remain vigilant. We are following the scientists and we do not want to rush things.”
“I want to go and see for myself how the care of our compatriots is organized, but also to give them comfort and support,” President Tshisekedi has been quoted as saying May 29.
The head of State launched a “vibrant appeal for help and solidarity to compatriots from all corners of the country to come to the aid of the stricken population of Goma through gestures of generosity that could relieve some of the pain in these difficult times.”
Humanitarian aid, he said, “is already reaching the victims, especially in Sake where food has been distributed to the needy.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.