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Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details


YesPeriodic drought in the South



Medium/high risk

5 Dec 2005 – Kalémie – Magnitude 5.5 - Lake Tanganyika earthquake with epicenter approx. 6 miles below surface of lake

3 Feb 2008 – Bukavu - South Kivu and Cyangugu regions. Casualties & losses: 7 killed, 545 injured, 1000 houses destroyed.

7 Aug 2015 , Lake Kivu, approximately half way between Goma and Bukavu (epicenters Kavumu & Kalehe) – magnitude 5.8 on Richter scale, 10 km below ground level. Casualties & losses: 5 killed, 60 injured, 1500 houses destroyed.

 Earthquake Track's List of Biggest Earthquakes near Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo



Ongoing degrees of epidemic disease outbursts of different sources.  Bacterial and Protozoal diarrhea, Cholera, Hepatitis A,B Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Plague and African Trypanusomiasis (sleeping sickness), water contact disease Ebola, Measles, Poliomyelitis, HIV.

Extreme Temperatures



YesCongo River Floods (seasonal – during rainy/wet season) (Bas Congo & Province Orientale)

Insect Infestation



YesSporadic landslides in the mountain area in the Eastern DRC

Volcanic Eruptions

YesActive volcanoes in the east, in Great Rift Valley; Nyamulagira, located 22 km north of Goma and Africa’s most active volcano, erupted from November 2000 until reaching highest level of activity in February 2002. Nyamulagira volcano erupted again on January 04, 2010 and November 06, 2011. Threat of eruptions remains imminent. Eruption of Nyiragongo volcano in January 2002.  Most of town of Goma was destroyed including parts of the airport.  Majority of Goma population were forced to flee across border to Rwanda. Nyiragongo poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people

High Waves / Surges



YesFire is a pivotal part of agriculture across most of Africa and DRC. People burn crop residue to clear fields after harvest, and they burn forests and other natural vegetation to clear new land for farming. Fire is also used to drive game and grazing animals to new locations and to stimulate new growth 

High Winds


Other Comments

Because of the presence of trapped pockets of highly explosive gas (methane) at the bottom of Kivu lake, scientists say that there is likelihood that these could be released, creating a dangerous hazard of explosion in case of contact with flames on the surface. That would necessitate a total evacuation of people from Goma, Gisenyi, the Lake Kivu surrounds, Bukavu, Cyangugu and Kibuye.

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife


Ongoing in eastern provinces: SOUTH KIVU, NORTH KIVU, MANIEMA, in South east provinces: KATANGA


International Conflict

YesOngoing in Equateur, Eastern and Oriental Provinces 

Internally Displaced Persons

YesMost IDP’s (Internally Displaced persons) are in Eastern Provinces.

Refugees Present

YesFrom CAR in Equateur, from Burundi in South Kivu.

Landmines / UXO Present

YesSouth Kivu, North Kivu, Katanga, Equateur and Province Orientale are affected by ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) and Mines (Source: UNMAS Democratic Republic of Congo website)

Other Comments

The most serious man-made issue in DRC remains the armed conflict in the eastern part of the Country.

For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters's Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT).

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

The 2,892 km of asphalt primary roads out of the 58,129 km are passable all seasons despite the presence of potholes. The remaining 55,237 km is hardly passable during rainy season due to ruts and mud. During dry season, roads may become very sandy/muddy thus sometimes impassable, making heavy cargo loads difficult to be transported.  Trucks are often stranded until piles of sand are cleared. 

All seasons for paved primary road
(Wet season - November to March for unpaved primary road.) (Dry season - April to October)

Secondary Road Transport

Secondary road network (87,300 km) is not paved and large parts of it is badly affected during rainy season which makes it often inaccessible. During dry season, roads become sandy, muddy and dirty, thus hardly passable. This network if sometimes composed of what became more bicycle tracks than vehicle paths. 

(Wet season - November to March)
(Dry season - April to October)

Rail Transport

Aging rail tracks need replacing and repair. Rail networks suffer from very poor efficiency and relatively high tariffs. Traffic densities on Congolese railways have sharply declined due to deficient service and strong intermodal competition.n/a

Air Transport

The DRC’s domestic air transport services has a worrisome safety record due to aging aircraft, human error and bad weather including heavy rains and storms during rainy seasons.Depend on the provinces for bad weather.

Waterway Transport

The draft of vessels may change and it is difficult to load barges to their full loading capacity during dry seasons. The transport rates also increase during this period. Some of the rivers require special types of barges and are sometimes are not navigable.  During dry season, river and ports need regular dredging and signaling.(Wet season - November to March) (Dry season - April to October)

Road transport in general in the DRC is slowed down during the rainy season as the travel time is extended by almost 40% due to the poor state of roads.  Most agencies use the Congo River and its tributaries during rainy seasons and pre-position stock to cater for accessibility problems.

Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate...)



From <month> to <month>


Humidity affecting warehouse walls and floor in the rainy season

November to March


Delay, slipping of workers and goods, muddy waterways ports preventing safe handling and transportation.

November to March




Miscellaneous commodity handling and storage is seriously hampered during rainy season. In most cases, pre-stock of goods is the only option to prevent seasonal bottleneck. 

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


 For information on Democratic Republic of Congo government contact details, please see the following link:

4.1 Democratic Republic of Congo Government Contact List

The DRC’s capacity to respond to emergencies has been limited following years of armed conflict. As a result, there is a lack of a comprehensive strategy for disaster management. In addition, the lack of a clear line of responsibility has seriously compromised the coordination with the humanitarian community. As a humanitarian initiative in disaster response, a Ministry of Solidarity and Humanitarian Affairs was created back in 2003 with the aim of alleviating suffering and vulnerability of the victims of armed conflict. Within the framework of this initiative, two Ministries (the Ministry of Social affairs and the Ministry of Solidarity and Humanitarian actions) were merged into one Ministry In 2008.

The Ministry developed an emergency rescue plan in 2010 (ORSEC) which defines the general framework of constitutional emergency response. The ORSEC plan is currently pending governmental approval. In 2012, the specific responsibilities of the two administrations were separated. A National Humanitarian Coordination Framework (CNCH) has recently been established by a decree N°13/008 from the Prime Minister dated January 23, 2013 and aims at strengthening the country’s ability to coordinate and manage all emergency responses. The CNCH’s mission is to improve the exchange of humanitarian information for more efficiency in humanitarian response and to ensure a better transition between humanitarian action and development (Source: Article 3 decree N°13/008). However, at present, there is an insufficient capacity of the national and provincial government to timely respond to disasters. The Ministries included on the government contacts list are the members of the newly created National Humanitarian Coordination Framework (CNCH).

Humanitarian Community

For information on Democratic Republic of Congo Humanitarian Agency contact details, please see the following link:

Liste de contacts humanitaires_RDC

For more info on humanitarian operations and funding mechanisms:

UNOCHA DRC Website (English)

Humanitarian Response Website (French)