Convoy reaches volcano refugees

 In a race against time CAFOD's partners are working on both sides of the Congo border to get emergency food and water to the hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the volcano eruption in the Congo. Nine lorries of supplies including blankets, water bottles, soap and children's clothing were due to arrive last night in Gisenyi from the Rwandan capital Kigali. Patrick Nicholson from CAFOD who is with the convoy said: "There is a desperate need for food and water which we are distributing as quickly as possible. Over the last day and night, there has been a massive influx of refugees back to Goma it's estimated that over 200,000 have returned to the still smouldering city. "There are real fears that there will be further eruptions so we did think long and hard about whether to set up feeding centres in Goma but the people are desperate to get back to their homes and our priority is to feed them wherever they are. We are naturally very worried about the situation and are urging them to move away from the volcano but it is very difficult," he added. CAFOD's partners have been working with the refugees since the eruption started from their centres in Goma and Gisenyi. They are providing food and shelter for 3,000 refugees in their churches, schools and orphanages in Gisenyi and are distributing food parcels to people in the town who have taken refugees into their homes. CAFOD are co-ordinating the response to the disaster on behalf of the international Catholic community. Donations for the disaster can be made to CAFOD on 0500 858885.

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