(Updated) Burundi – Floods in Bujumbura Province Force Thousands From Their Homes

Update, 29 January 2021:

Local media in Burundi report that heavy rain over the last few days caused flooding and landslides in parts of the northwestern Citiboke Province. As of 29 January, 356 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed, mostly in the Commune of Rugombo.

Original report, 22 January 2021:

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that flooding in Bujumbura province of Burundi has forced thousands of people from their homes.

Heavy rainfall from 08 January caused the Rusizi river to flood and Lake Tanganyika to rise, inundating areas of the Rukaramu and Gatumba zones in Mutimbuzi commune of Bujumbura province.

OCHA said that “structural factors such as the saturated water table, siltation of the bed of the Rusizi river and the weakness of the artisanal dikes have accentuated the extent of the flooding.”

One person died and one injured. Homes, infrastructure, schools and medial centres have suffered damage. As many as 1,214 households have moved from their homes.

Severe flooding struck in Gatumba in May 2018, affecting 12,956 people and 2,133 houses, and again in April 2020, when around 27,000 people were affected.

Gatumba is situated around 15km east of Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo which saw severe flooding in late December 2020 where 4 people died and 2 were reported missing.

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Featured image: Floods in Gatumba, Burundi January 2021. Photo: Caritas Burundi