SOS Children's Villages has started investigations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring Rwanda to establish how many children were separated from their parents and relatives during the escape from the lava flows in Goma. UNICEF estimates that up to 200,000 children could be in this situation. As far as possible, SOS Children's Villages will take in and care for children in temporary accommodation, if necessary in rented houses.
Alarming hygiene conditions in the areas where refugees have congregated makes the provision of care for unaccompanied children all the more urgent. The refugees have also been warned not to use water from Lake Kivu whether it be for drinking, cooking or bathing, as lava and gases from the volcano may have contaminated the lake's northern banks.
In addition, there is danger of an cholera epidemic. "SOS Children's Village Bukavu and its four supporting facilities (a youth facility, kindergarten, primary school and medical centre) have not been affected by the volcanic eruption," reported co-worker Aristide Ramaciotti from Africa. The facilities, which are located on the southern-most bank of Lake Kivu, around 100 kilometres as the crow flies from the scene of the catastrophe, are not in any danger.