17 Aug 2022
17 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Differences in volcanic risk perception among Goma’s population before the Nyiragongo eruption of May 2021, Virunga volcanic province (DR Congo)

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi1,2,3, Matthieu Kervyn3, Muhashy Habiyaremye1, François Kervyn2, and Caroline Michellier2 Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.
  • 1Geology department, Université de Goma, Goma, DR Congo
  • 2Earth Sciences department, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
  • 3Geography department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. Risk perception is an essential element to consider for effective risk management at time of eruption. This is especially the case in densely populated cities close to volcanoes like Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo highly exposed to volcanic hazards from Nyiragongo. 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 differences and factors influencing the individual volcanic risk perception of 2,224 adults from height representative neighbourhoods of Goma before the May 2021 Nyiragongo eruption. A composite risk perception indicator was built from the perceived severity and perceived vulnerability. Statistical analysis of survey’s results shows that the risk perception varies less with demographic and contextual factors than with cognitive and psychological factors. The spatial analysis shows that respondents from the eastern neighbourhoods, affected by the 2002 eruption, demonstrated a significantly higher level of risk perception than participants living in the western neighbourhood. Therefore, collective memory of past events in the impacted areas does play a role. Evidence from this study will help to develop well-targeted volcanic risk awareness-raising in Goma.

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-217', David K. CHESTER, 24 Aug 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi, 25 Aug 2022 reply

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.


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Short summary
Risk perception involves the processes of collecting, selecting, and interpreting signals about uncertain impacts of hazards. It may contribute to improving risk communication and motivating the protective behaviour of the population living near volcanoes. Our work describes the spatial variation and factors influencing volcanic risk perception of 2204 adults of Goma exposed to Nyiragongo. It contributes to providing a case study for risk perception understanding in the global south.