Heavy rainfall that hit parts of Burundi on May 4, 2018 led to significant flooding in Gatumba, approximately 12 km (7 miles) from the city of Bujumbura.
A joint assessment conducted on May 9 by Burundi Red Cross Society, the government of Burundi, OCHA, WFP, UNICEF, IOM, NRC, Millions for One and PACT in 6 sites in Gatumba indicated that flooding was caused by overflow of rivers Rusizi 1 and 2, tributaries of Lake Tanganyika crossing Gatumba area from Kivu.
The flooding had severe consequences with 12 956 people (2 143 men, 2 258 women and 8 555 children) and 2 133 houses affected in 9 locations.
Damage to infrastructure, including bridges and roads is also reported, hampering access to the affected population. With the assessed needs, urgent support is required for 12 956 people in Gatumba in the following sectors; Shelter, WASH, livelihoods and basic needs, health and protection, gender and inclusion (PGI).
In January 2018, severe weather including flooding left almost 2 000 displaced and destroyed or severely damaged hundreds of homes in Burundi, leaving 12 000 people affected. In March 2018, a landslide triggered by heavy rain left at least 6 people dead and 3 injured near the Gasenyi river in the east of the capital, Bujumbura.
Another episode of rainfall and flooding occurred in April and according to the damage assessment of April 30 conducted by the Burundi Red Cross Society, heavy downpour worsened the situation by breaking one of the dykes of the Mutumbizi River causing the river to flood nearby communities in Buterere-Kiyange 1 and Ngagara-Sabe areas close to the city of Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi.
This situation left 2 573 people (511 households) homeless with over 1 900 of them children. Many of them lost their homes and possessions and are currently staying with their relatives and friends while some are living in private plots, public schools or in rented houses within the two affected areas. Also, the flooding is reported to have caused 1 death and 4 injuries. Kiyange 1 and Ngagara-Sabe areas are located in Cholera Outbreak belt and before the floods, the same population had been hit by the Cholera outbreak and respiratory infections.
Considering the danger of disease outbreak facing the affected population at the time, Burundi Red Cross Society mobilized its volunteers to disinfect homes and displacement locations in the two affected areas mentioned above. This work was done in collaboration with the national platform for risk prevention and disaster management.
Featured image: Flooded houses in Gatumba in Bujumbura © Burundi Red Cross