HEAL AFRICA’s mission is to preserve the dignity of all people and to improve the health of all communities.  Within this framework, HEAL AFRICA’s emergency team carried out a mission to analyze the situation for people displaced by war in Mugunga and Don Bosco and to identify emergency needs there.

The general objective of our field visits is:

To analyze the general situation of internally displaced people in the Mugunga camp and in the Don Bosco transit site.




Specific objectives

For our site visits, our specific objectives are the following:

Identify the problems facing internally displaced people in the camps,

Identify the primary needs of internally displaced people,

Create a list of internally displaced people from camp Kanyaruchinya who are currently living in Mugunga I and III, Green Lake, and Don Bosco,

Collect information about their experiences in the camps after fleeing fighting in the city of Goma.


Geographic Situation

Don Bosco is situated north of the city of Goma in the Majengo district.  It is a welcome center and school for orphans and street children run by the Catholic Church.

Mugunga is situated west of Goma on the Goma-Sake road, approximately 15 kilometers from the city center.



During our mission, we used the following methods:

Conversations and interviews


The 3L technique (Look, listen and learn)


Analysis of the Situation


Demographic aspect

N Sites Prior Situation Newcomers (deplaced from de Kanyaruchinya) Current Situation
1 DON BOSCO 0 2500 households 2500 households
2 LAC VERT 2220 households 30 households 2250 households
3 UMUGUNGA 1 7620 households 1500 households 9120 households
4 MUGUNGA 3 4700 households +8900 households +13600 households
Total 14540 households +12930 households +27470 households


The plus sign indicates that counting was not finished, as it was interrupted due to the recent conflicts between M23 and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).

Classrooms in the Mugunga III camp where internally displaced people from Kanyaruchinya camps are currently living


To ascertain the approximate total population, we used as an average 5 people per household.

Besides Don Bosco and Mugunga, there are also several displaced people living in schools within Goma; for example, Nazareen primary school with 113 households, Neema primary school with 102 households, and Ushindi primary school with 500 households, which brings the total to 715 households, without including any host families.

Adding together those counted in the camps and the schools, we have a total of 28185  households.



Public Health Aspects

Movement of Internally Displaced People

From a public health perspective, cases of cholera that have already been identified at the Don Bosco and Mugunga sites.

In the sites we visited, there is a great need for potable water, and we fear that without it, diarrheal diseases will crop up.  Care for pregnant women is practically nonexistent; in one case, we observed a pregnant woman in the Mugunga III camp who was bleeding and lacked medical assistance, we intervened immediately and took her to a hospital.  Three cases of sexual violence were also recorded in the Mugunga III camp.  We will note that as far as treating health issues is concerned, both technical and material support are required in the camps.



Child Protection and Education

Children in the camps do no have schooling or other supervision, and when their parents lack assistance, these children become more and more vulnerable.



Environmental Aspects

The living conditions of the internally displaced people coming from Kanyaruchinya are particularly precarious in Mugunga I and  Mugunga III camps.  They have been crowded into schoolrooms, living under dilapidated tarps that offer no protection against the elements.  Adults and children are all living in the same space.

In certain sites like Don Bosco and Mugunga, there is drinking water available, but since the number of  internally displaced people has gone up considerably, the amount of potable water is insufficient.  For those living in schools (Ushindi, Nazareen, and Neema), there is nowhere to go for drinking water and the living conditions are deplorable.

Classrooms in the Mugunga III camp where internally displaced people from Kanyaruchinya camps are currently living

Searching for water in the camp










Nutritional Aspects

Children preparing a potato

We noted that in all the sites we visited, there is a great need for food.  It is difficult for the internally displaced people to find enough to eat; as proof, we offer two cases of children dying of malnutrition in the Mugunga III camp, as well as a woman we observed who lacked the energy to even look for firewood.




Identification of Needs

In all the sites we visited, the needs we identified remained the same, as documented in the following list:

Potable water


A starving woman sitting in a classroom

NFI (tarps, cooking utensils, blankets, etc.)

Primary health care

Schooling and supervision for children






Emergency humanitarian intervention is necessary to save the lives of people in danger and to preserve their dignity.


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