The Ministry of Environment has said that the air in areas close to the recent volcanic activity is safe.
Nyiragongo volcano which is located in the Eastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo neighboring with Rwanda’s Rubavu district erupted on May 22.
Ever since, citizens in the vicinity of the volcano expressed fears of getting sick due to clouds of volcanic dust which normally contains hazardous minerals like sulfur dioxide.
Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, the Minister of Environment said that a team of experts was deployed on ground to test the air quality and other environment related damages in the wake of the volcanic eruption.
The team is on ground in Rubavu from 27th to 29th May 2021, to monitor the air quality and surface water quality pollutants associated with Nyiragongo eruption and initial findings are already available.
”The report we have received today shows that the air quality is normal and there is no need for residents to panic,” Mujawamariya said.
The Minister of Environment was addressing a press conference ahead of the national celebrations to mark the World Environment and Biodiversity Day.
The team monitored pollutants including sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) O3, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ammonia ( NH3) and noise with measurement of all meteorological Parameters (Temperature, Relative Humidity, Pressure, Wind Speed and Wind Direction).
They also did a basic water quality parameter checks especially water acidity (PH), temperature, turbidity, suspended and dissolved volcanic solids (TSS & TDS).
“I am told that the water acidity levels are normalizing and volcanic activity didn’t reach Lake Kivu which is also good news. However I would like to ask residents to be cautious at this time,” the Minister said.