Mvuyekure Kayusu, (39), his wife Pelagie, and their nine children are one of thousands of families in Rubavu, Rwanda, whose lives were devastated following the Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption in May. They were forced to live in the rubble of their home without food or shelter.
The volcanic aftershocks that hit Rubavu, a town on the shores of Lake Kivu, 12 kilometres from Goma in North Kivu Province, amplified the serious humanitarian crisis that already gripped the area. Families who rely on farming as their main food source found themselves with nothing to eat with crops destroyed.
“Our entire house collapsed. We had to sleep outdoors in the debris of our home, and we could not find shelter with a host family because we were such a large group,” he explains.
“I spend all my energy looking for food to feed my children, and I am thankful to Trócaire for their assistance. We were given corrugated iron to fix the roof of our house. We could not have repaired the house if Trócaire had not helped us,” Kayusu adds.
Kayusu’s wife, Pelagie, received money which helped them do house repairs and buy food through a mobile money cash transfer programme, something which was a novel experience for her.
“I received the money via MOMO. It was like in a vision. Now I am using the money to purchase food. I bought some maize flour, beans, and Irish potatoes. The remaining money will be used to repair the house,” she adds.
Several water systems in the area were affected by the eruptions, depriving affected communities of water and hygiene services. Kayusu and his family also received sanitary equipment to improve their day-to-day living conditions.
Trócaire, along with other humanitarian agencies and the Government of Rwanda, worked together to deliver emergency assistance to internally displaced Rwandans in Rubavu.
A grant of £200,000 from Start Fund was secured to support those affected. The Start Fund provides rapid financing to respond to small and medium scale crises and to support the most vulnerable community members.