Burundi – Damage and Fatalities After Floods in 4 Provinces

Days of heavy rain have taken their toll in Burundi, where at least 14 people have died in floods and landslides over the past week. Floods and landslides have also been reported in the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Floods in Province Bujumbura, Burundi, April 2023. Photo: Government of Bujumbura Province


Local officials reported severe flooding in Gatumba in Mutimbuzi commune, Bujumbura Province on 04 April 2023. Homes and lives have been severely impacted. Full damage assessments have not yet been completed but local media reports said the affected communities are facing “total desolation”. Flooding occurred after the Rusizi River broke its banks. Gatumba is situated on the banks of the river where it meets Lake Tanganyika.

Heavy rain triggered severe flooding overnight from 31 March to 01 April in Cibitoke province. The rain caused the Rugogo River to overflow, which in turn flooded tunnels of the nearby gold mine in Mabayi Commune. Fourteen miners died as a result. The search for survivors was ongoing. Flooding also caused damage in nearby villages. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported 108 people were displaced, 157 others were affected and 16 homes were damaged. Seven people were injured.

IOM also reported heavy rain in the Muha Commune in Bujumbura Marie Province on 28 March. Several homes were destroyed or damaged, 84 people were displaced and 3 people were injured.

Heavy rain and strong winds in Buhinyuza commune in Muyinga Province on 31 March destroyed 2 homes and damaged over 20. Twenty-nine people were displaced and a further 66 were affected. Three were injured. Crops and a religious building were also damaged.

Areas of the country experienced heavy rainfall and some severe weather from late January to early February. Flooding was reported in parts of Bujumbura Rural. In total 2,277 people were affected and 601 were displaced. Strong winds and hail also affected several areas of the country during this period, in particular Ngozi, Makamba, Bujumbura Rural, and Cibtoke. In total, around 25,000 people were affected.

Floods in Province Bujumbura, Burundi, April 2023. Photo: Government of Bujumbura Province
Floods in Province Bujumbura, Burundi, April 2023. Photo: Government of Bujumbura Province


In the neighbouring country of Rwanda, the Red Cross and the local government of Rusizi District reported heavy rain and floods from 19 March 2023 affecting 283 families in Bugarama and Muganza.

Local media reported flash floods in the Busasamana sector of the Rubavu district in early April.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

In Burundi’s western neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), at least 20 people died after heavy rain triggered a landslide in the village of Bulwa in the Masisi territory of the North Kivu Province. The Provincial deputy of North Kivu, Alexis Bahunga, said at least 20 people died and searches were continuing for others feared missing.

Three people died in a landslide in the village Musenge also in Masisi on 03 April.

Heavy rain has also affected South Kivu Province in recent days and road traffic linking the city of Uvira to Bukavu was suspended.

Radio Okapi reported 250 homes were damaged in Kasanga, south of Uvira.

Uvira is also located on the banks of Lake Tanganyika, about 12 km (7 miles) from Gatumba. The risk of flooding is high in the area. At least 30 people died in flooding in Uvira in April 2020.

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