Launched in January 2007 in the frame of the STEREOII program, the GORISK project was based a multidisciplinary approach focused on the implementation and improvement of ground-based and spaceborne tools for volcanic risk and health impact assessment in the Goma region (North Kivu, DRC). This area (potentially 1 million people) is threatened by two highly active volcanoes: Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. The January 2002 eruption of Nyiragongo had an important and long-term economical, socio-political and humanitarian impact on the region. Though the Nyamulagira is not a major direct threat for populations. It erupts every two years and is a potential concern for some inhabited areas and road infrastructures. The main objectives of this initiative were to provide the interconnected end-users working in the Nyiragongo – Nyamulagira volcanic context with appropriate products and services to assess the volcanic hazards and to mitigate the related risks. It followed three parallel axes: strengthening of the local capacity with new products and services, transversal pluri-disciplinary approach and capacity building including implication and training of the end users.
GORISK was funded by Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) and the Luxembourg National Fund for Research (FNR).
Based on its success, the project expanded beyond its deadline into a collaborative network of scientists. Although the objectives of the original project were completed, significant needs - mainly in terms of resources and training - are still required for a robust, reliable and autonomous monitoring of these volcanoes by local staff and at the international standards level.