MOUNT NYIRAGONGO ERUPTION AND COVID-19 IN RWANDA
Mount Nyiragongo Eruption and Covid-19 in Rwanda : Mount Nyiragongo is among the world’s most active volcanoes with the world largest lava lake at its summit. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Congo which tourists from all over the world come to view lava underneath the earth’s crust boiling for an amazing adventure in virunga national park which has a lot to offer to tourists from gorilla trekking along the virunga mountains .
Mount Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002 and the eruption lasted for only a day but its impacts were felt for years with part of coma town and Goma international airport was destroyed and a number of people losing their lives which led to a number of tourism activities in virunga national park come to a standstill because of the eruptions that destroyed path ways, the magma being a danger to tourists, roads leading t the park were also destroyed. On Saturday 22 may 2021, it was reported that the mountain erupted again.
It should be noted that the republic of Rwanda is among the few countries in Africa that have come up with a number of safety measures/ precautions to ensure that the people are protected against covid-19 which is among the most devastating viruses in the world at large.
Among the different safety precautions that are exercised by the government of Rwanda to protect the tourists from contracting the virus and spreading it among one another include, putting the country under lockdown to contain the covid-19 cases, non essential visit to Rwanda is prohibited in away to avoid the spread of the virus , closure of a destinations that gather a number of people, emphasizing social distance among the tourists and the locals, emphasizing the wearing of face masks to avoid the spread of the virus.
However with the current situation of mount Nyiragongo eruption, the government of Rwanda has to plan accordingly to avoid the increase in covid-19 cases with the a number of migrants that have crossed from areas of the democratic republic of Congo to Rwanda through Goma town as a way to run away from the effects of the eruptions which have killed a number of people, left a number of people homeless, destroyed their farm lands and many others.
With over 8000 people that have fled areas around virunga national park and crossed to Rwanda as stated by the Rwandan authorities which is an increase from the 300 that had earlier crossed to the country through Goma and these are accommodated in houses of worship and schools which is quite a challenging task amidst covid-19 fears. Although the numbers of migrants are increasing, the government of Rwanda is also doing its best to provide shelter for them as they also work tirelessly to avoid the migrants from also contracting the virus which can also be a threat to the people of Rwanda in the long run.
At the refugee camps that are at the places of worship and schools, they will not be allowed to cross over to other areas of the country that are not designated by the government to protect the refugees and the locals. The camps will work as quarantine centres which will help the virus to incubate in case any of the people were infected and this will give them the chance to contain the virus and with the help of the ministry of health in Rwanda there are mass covid-19 tests may be carried out to confirm the new covid-19 tests in away to ensure the safety of the refugees.
With this it will enable Rwanda to contain the virus and continue being among the safest tourism destinations in Africa amidst covid-19 that tourists can visit to take part in activities like gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park, hiking the virunga mountains, game drives in akagera national park among other rewarding activities during their Rwanda safari.