EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Contrasts in volcanic risk perception among Goma population before the Nyiragongo eruption of May 2021 (East DR Congo)

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi1,2,3, Caroline Michellier1, François Muhashy Habiyaremye2, François Kervyn1, and Matthieu Kervyn3
Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.
  • 1Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Earth sciences, Tervuren, Belgium (
  • 2Geology department, Université de Goma, Goma, DR Congo
  • 3Geography department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Risk perception is an essential element to consider for effective risk management at time of eruption, especially in densely populated cities close to volcanoes. The city of Goma in the East of the DR Congo is one these cities highly exposed to volcanic hazards and highly populated. The perception of volcanic risk involves the processes of collecting, selecting and interpreting signals about uncertain impacts of volcanic hazards. Using a questionnaire survey, this study describes the spatial variation and factors influencing the individual volcanic risk perception of 2204 adults from height representative neighbourhoods of the city of Goma before the May 2021 Nyiragongo eruption. A composite risk perception indicator was built from the perceived likelihood of occurrence of volcanic hazards and of their impacts and from the perceived likelihood of being personally impacted. Statistical analysis of survey’s results shows that the risk perception is mostly shaped by risk cognitive and psychological factors rather than demographic factors (group, family status and previous risk experience). Perceived personal exposure to and predictive power of environmental cues (sights and sounds that are considered to indicate a hazard onset) positively shape risk perception. The higher the level of personal understanding and interest in seeking  risk information, the higher the risk perception. In addition, risk perception leads to high level of anxiety. Finally, the spatial analysis shows that the highest level of risk perception was observed in the eastern part of the city, previously impacted by lava flows in 2002.  

How to cite: Mafuko Nyandwi, B., Michellier, C., Muhashy Habiyaremye, F., Kervyn, F., and Kervyn, M.: Contrasts in volcanic risk perception among Goma population before the Nyiragongo eruption of May 2021 (East DR Congo), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-445,, 2022.

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