Internally Displaced Persons around Goma
We are involved in various activities towards IDPs around Goma and elsewhere in North Kivu the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Report on our field visit in the Internally Displaced Persons around Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in order to find out what are the issues and challenges they are facing. This brief report depicts mismatch between reports from Relief Aid Agencies and the real realities of people in camps.
Report of our field visit in Rusayu One Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps in Nyiragongo North Kivu the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This IDP wondering the remain of his things when his house was destroyed in order to get some money which will help him to build another house
Date: Tuesday September 12th, 2023
Team: Two people from COJESKI under the Project of Global Refugee Leaders Forum visited the camp,
Time: 9 am – 4pm
To collect information on those who do not access relief aid yet and share it with humanitarian organizations,
To understand why some of the relief aid material and items are found being sold in markets here in Goma,
To collect information on emerging issues,
To monitor the progress of 10 women who were supported in order to do income generating activities,
As usual our field work was dictated by two events: The first is the complaint from people who come to our offices that they have stayed in camps for long without getting assistance, and the second was about destruction of the houses of some IDPs in Rusayu One by CNR on Monday September 11th, 2023.
Items of Aid Relief being sold in Goma
A number of relief aid items are found in public markets in Goma and even sold on the roadside in many places. We visited some shops and pretended as if we want to buy Taplin’s which are used as shelter for IDPs and the owners of the shops assured that they have enough in stores and they can give us the quantity we want up to 100 even. On top of that most the houses under construction in Goma are often covered by these plastic sheets either from UNHCR or from IOM, we also visited private houses of people especially those constructed with timber and found these plastic sheets inside of almost each house. This UNHCR kit for refugees has been on the market for the last few months here in Goma.
IDPs we spoke to in Rusayu One Camp indicated that exactly some people do sell off their items but this is in small number and could not make these items visible in Goma and available everywhere at every time. Because after all IDPs do not get them every day, they also indicated that some items are sold by those in charge of the camp, various stories which we did not have time to monitor were advanced on how the items are sold. What is evident is that there are items which are in big number in the public market in Goma which may need serious investigations.
Demolition of houses for IDPs by CNR
In one second this is what remains for her in Rusayu One IDP Camp
On Monday September 11th, 2023 the Government Body the National Commissioner for Refugees known as CNR that is in charge of land in camps demolished houses of some IDPs in Rusayu One Camp, the operation started at around 10am and people were forced to leave. We visited the area and noticed that most of the demolished houses where constructed on the road reserve, and this spark the first question where was CNR when people put their houses there. Most of those affected have not yet received relief aid and this put in state of vulnerability then after making all possible efforts to get where they put their head, CNR came and destroyed it, without even supporting people with necessary equipment to build another shelter.
Until now those affected are still without humanitarian relief aid in Rusayu One. On Tuesday then AIDES hold a meeting with the victims but nothing was proposed in order to help the victims. We are concerned by the inhuman character in which the demolition was done, why was it done on hurry, who had interests in that and the allegations of bribery and the traffic of influence in order to favor certain camp leaders in order to embezzle the humanitarian relief aid.
Cases of those without aid relief
In Rusayu One like in other camps such as Bulengo which we visited, have a number of people who have been there since March, April, May and June 2023 who have never received relief aid. Three actors are responsible for the aid relief mainly the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). As per now it is not yet clear why food does not reach all the IDPs. We continue with our monitoring to understand better this field in order to come up with an advocacy approach to address the situation.
Domestic Violence in the Camps
Both Rusayu One and Bulengo camps continue to report cases of domestic violence, the main cause is the management of the money given in terms of food ration to IDPs when they reach home. Women do complain that if the man is the head of the family and gets the money he does not come with it at home, either the money spent on alcohol, to other women or just disappear with it and comes back when the money is over.
This leads to fighting at home between the husband and the wife and has caused consequences. The men do complain that if it is the woman who is the head of the family once she gets the money, she hides it very far to the point that the man will not know how it was used and on what, but also that the woman will not give some money to the man to drink alcohol with his friends. This is also leading to fighting at home between the woman and man.
The situation urgent needs awareness on how to manage the money and to ensure it is not a source of violence at home, it also needs to work on issue of justice and other legal services, issues of reconciliation and conflict resolution among others.
Malnourished Children in Rusayu One camp
As you move in the camp you will observed signs of malnourished children in the camps, you do not need to make a research for that. We are working hard to get the real reasons why these malnourished children. But so far people in the camp told us that they do not get help from CARITAS that is in charge of these children.
Access to medical treatment
In Rusayu One IDPs told us that Medecin Sans Frontier is in charge of medical treatment, however IDPs we spoke to indicated that when they go to the health center they are given Panadol and another tablet which they do not know, that is the only two types of medicine they get regardless of what they are suffering from. They shared with us endless list of people who have died yet they believed if they were well treated they could have lived for long again. We visited others who were sick and who did not opt to go to the Health Center anymore, some were using harbor medicine others were going somewhere else especially those who had some money to pay for medicine somewhere.
HIV/AIDS and sexual exploitation of women,
We observed that there are cases of people involved in commercial sex and it is one among the main activity for women and girls as the main clients are men, we talked to some who informed us that they have no idea about issues around protection, nothing about HIV/AIDs and other sexual transmitted diseases. Some women told us that often time they do not say no and do not refuse whatever money which the man comes with, some do even engage in sex at 500 FC provided that they get something. More work is needed to ensure that sexual activity is regulated, does not involved minors, adults are well paid for their work, and to ensure that sexual activity becomes a right but not the last option in the situation of vulnerability.
Lastly we visited some women we are supporting with cash for livelihood activities
We are currently supporting 10 women in Rusayu One IDP Camp with livelihood activities, each one is doing something of her choice. We found them going on well with their activities, however they indicated that the capital is small comparing to the needs of the population they are serving. These women are much better financially than others and as per now they not more vulnerable, when you reach at their homes you will find that they are different from others, when you look at their physical appearance you notice that they are healthy than others.
The project is moving on well and our intention is to extend it to more other women.
Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos