Burundi + 1 more

ACT Appeal Tanzania - Kibondo /Burundian Refugee Emergency: AFTZ-01

Appeal Target : US$ 431,851
Geneva, 9 March 2000

Dear Colleagues,

The civil conflict in Burundi between the government and the opposition rebel groups continues to cause misery for the civilian population who mainly are the victims of the fighting. Since the civil war intensified after the 1993 attempted coup that resulted in the country’s president Melchior Ndadaye being killed, over 150,000 people have died in the conflict, over 800,000 are internally displaced and over 480,000 in refugee camps in Tanzania. 120,000 of these refugees are in Kibondo district in camps managed by the Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service/ Lutheran World Federation (TCRS/LWF). Over 40,000 are new arrivals settled in the new camp of Karago. Until December last year, Karago was a contingency site prepared by TCRS for a possible new influx of refugees. This appeal is to respond to the needs of the newly arrived 40,000 refugees in Kibondo district.

The implementation period is 12 months, from January 2000 to 31 December 2000.

Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service/Lutheran World Federation will carry out the following activities:

  • Emergency Shelter/ Shelter Construction
  • Distribution of food and non-food items (household items and clothing)
  • Water Development (drilling of bore holes and water distribution)
  • Camp management

Account Number - 102539/0.01.061 (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.



Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (TCRS)

The Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (TCRS) is an operational field programme of the Lutheran World Federation Department for World Service. TCRS was established in 1964 for humanitarian intervention in refugee situation in what was then known as Tanganyika.

In the first 20 years of operation, TCRS was mainly involved in the development of semi-permanent settlements for Burundian, Rwandan, and Mozambican refugee in the south and west of Tanzania. The settlements were joint projects of UNHCR, the Government of Tanzania, and TCRS. A major feature of the settlement approach was the creation of sustainable communities through self-sufficiency in food production.

In more recent times, TCRS has been an implementing partner of UNHCR in the large-scale refugee emergencies in Kigoma and Kagera Regions, concentrating on camp management, water and sanitation, and logistics work. Presently TCRS is working with Burundian refugees in Kibondo district of Kigoma Region.

TCRS is committed to transforming its field programs to local structures in the interest of sustainability and local empowerment. In May 1998 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT ) and TCRS signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Lutheran Relief and Development Service (LRDS ) Board for directing the entire TCRS Country programme.


Tanganyika Christian refugee Service (TCRS)

With the creation of the refugee program in early 1994 in Kibondo, TCRS working in collaboration with the UNHCR set up the two camps of Kanembwa and Mkugwa, and was responsible for camp management, infrastructure development, water and sanitation, education and some aspects of community development. In the summer of 1996 a further exodus caused by civil war prompted the opening of Mtendeli camp and Nduta camp. TCRS was again responsible in setting up and running these camps. During most of 1997 and into 1998 the Burundi population in Kibondo District averaged 80,000 refugees.

In 1999 the number of new arrivals continued to rise as a result of escalation of violence in some provinces of Burundi and also in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Karago site also in Kibondo district,which was developed by TCRS as a contingency site, was officially opened for refugees on December 23, 1999 after the other camps became full. The total population in all camps in Kibondo District was 119,765 by December 31st 1999 and 152,615 by February 7, 2000.

TCRS is a lead agency among the agencies and NGOs who provide services to the refugee camps in Kigoma Region. Listed below is the breakdown of TCRS responsibility and the existing beneficiaries in the four camps in Kibondo District.

Additional TCRS refugee operation support responsibilities include:

  • Running, managing and maintaining the central fleet of 25 trucks. This fleet is primary use for secondary food movement, pre-positioning for distribution and inter-camp transfers, refugee movement, new arrivals and repatriation along with additional movements requested by UNHCR and NGOs operating in Kibondo (eg. Construction).
  • The management of the UNHCR heavy plant machinery. Primary use being trunk road construction for supporting refugee operations, camp access/feeder road repairs.
  • Soliciting and distributing donated commodities such as used clothes, quilts, baby layettes etc. to all refugee camps in Kibondo district.


The crisis in Burundi has continued since October, 1993 when President Ndadaye was assassinated. In spite of an improved secuirty situation since the coup of 1996 which returned President Buyoya to power, the country is still in a state of partial civil war.

Large-scale influxes began in October 1999 following the intensification of fighting and also as a result of the Burundi government policy of regroupment of civilians into camps. Over 17,000 refugees were received in the last quarter of 1999 in Nduta, Mtendeli and Karago camps. The flow of refugees from Burundi into Tanzania is continuing at on average 800 refugees per day in February. Karago site, which was developed by TCRS as a contingency site, was officially opened for refugees on December 23, 1999 after the other camps in Kibondo district became full. Within one month Karago camp had a refugee population of 4,913 and by the end of January 2000 it had received 25,039 new refugees which is an average of 835 persons per day. From February 1 to 7 it received 6,310 new arrivals. At the time of writing the appeal the camp has 37’149 persons with a capacity to shelter 40,000 persons. This capacity needs to be upgraded to 55,000 persons if the water supply can be modified.

The new arrivals who are sheltered at Karago camp are the main concern for this appeal as the old case load is taken care of under the care and maintenance program, mainly funded by the UNHCR and WFP (for provision of food) and through ACT area appeals.

The current situation in Burundi is not good and measures need to be taken to prepare for further influxes of refugees into Tanzania. Talks are underway between the Government of Tanzania and the UNHCR for yet another site to settle refugees. However, there is hope that the Arusha peace talks which started 18 months ago, now under a new mediator, the former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, can end the conflict in Burundi.


To alleviate the suffering of the refugees by providing shelter, food, cloth and medical care and prepare them for returning to their home country once the situation stabilizes.


  • Provision of adequate water
  • Provision of adequate shelter material
  • Provision of tools to build shelter and provide means to supplement food rations
  • Provision of non-food items like clothing, household utensils.


All the target beneficiaries in this appeal are Hutu refugees fleeing the conflict in Burundi. The refugees hail from mainly Rutana, Makamba, and Kayanza provinces and predominantly of rural original. They arrive in Tanzania with little possessions and mostly nothing but torn clothes.

The target beneficiaries are settled in the new Karago camp which opened on the 23.12.99.



The water system of Karago camp is integrated with the Mtendeli camp system. In addition to the distribution system within Karago camp, water sources development has enabled TCRS to receive new arrivals in Karago camp. The ACT AFTZ91 Appeal funded this work in 1999 which was designed to cope with a Karago camp population of 20,000 refugees getting 15 lt. per person per day (the minimum acceptable stand as per SPHERE). The current population of 37,149 is therefore receiving less than the minimum standards

As one immediate solution, TCRS has begun tankering water from Muhwazi River and the pumping hours of water pumps has been increased to maximum, but current provision is only 10 lt. per person per day.

There is now the need to further upgrade the water system and improve the water sources to bring the camp capacity up to 55,000 refugees. What requires to be done is the following:

  • Drilling of 2 boreholes for Karago
  • Construction of one water tank in Karago
  • Purchase of 2 Lister Peter engines/monopumps
  • Construction of water distribution system in Karago
  • Construction of washing slabs and drainage
  • Construction of eight shallow wells

In addition to the above following equipment will all be required for Karago and other camps in the near future:
  • Small Honda pumps
  • Bladder tanks

Emergency Shelter (Plastic Sheeting)

At least 60 rolls of plastic sheeting (4X5/50mts) are needed to be kept as a contingency stock as TCRS has depleted its stock . The plastic sheeting will serve as a supplement to UNHCR supplies and will be used for the following purposes:

  • To new arrivals who could not get them during registration
  • For construction purposes
  • To replace worn out plastic sheeting
  • To assist vulnerable e.g. elderly persons, disabled and any other category of refugees which are not covered by UNHCR e.g. separated families, newly married couples etc.

Shelter Construction and Agricultural Tools (Machete/Hoes)

These are very vital and valuable tools to new arrivals. Unfortunately, these items are not included in the UNHCR standard distribution kits to new arrivals, even though new arrivals are required to build their own semi permanent structures and latrines almost immediately upon arrival/registration. Hoes and machete are needed for this construction and for the cutting of poles and firewood. At least 10,000 hoes and the same number of machetes are needed. These numbers can cover at least 40,000 refugees. The distribution of these items is normally one piece per family and this is estimated at an average size of 4 individuals per family.

Non-Food House Hold Items

UNHCR kitchen sets contain only one cooking pot. This is not enough as a single family would normally need two cooking pots as a minimum. An additional pot per family is therefore required with at least 12,000 pots required for this purpose.

For quite sometime now, TCRS has distributed 20 lt PVC buckets to new arrivals. However, fetching water has been a problem for refugees as 10 lt. collapsible jerry cans distributed by UNHCR from their stocks are less durable and inconvenient and spills a lot of water at the tap stands. TCRS would like to continue with this service and at least 12,000 pcs are needed for at least each family to have one bucket.

Clothes (Kangas and T-shirts)

TCRS is the only agency distributing used clothes to the new arrivals and experience has shown that the donated used clothes do not cover the entire needs. It is felt that Kangas and T-shirts would serve as a good supplement to the used clothes. About 20,000 pairs of kangas and 20,000 T-shirts would be needed to cover at least 40,000 refugees.

Clearing and Transport of Donated Commodities

TCRS will appeal for donated commodities such as used clothing, quilts, baby layettes etc. Funds will be required for clearing of the goods and to pay for off-loading and handling charges, insurance and upcountry inland transport. Priority is given to unaccompanied minors, elderly and vulnerable groups.

Capacity Building

As mentioned in the introduction, TCRS is committed to strengthen the capacity of its local partners. As the plan is for TCRS to phase out in the next 10 years, effort will be made in ensuring that the local partners especially the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) will be able to successfully intervene in refugee emergencies that may occur in the country. TCRS will therefore, support ELCT in training, especially in disaster management workshops.


Items will be procured from abroad: plastic sheeting, water pipes, pumps and bladder tanks. It is planned to procure all other items locally.

Additional Information on Camps Mentioned Above

UNHCR has concluded an agreement with TCRS to provide USD 1,554,564 in cash and various supplies and equipment such as diesel, communication equipment etc. for the implementation of care and maintenance year the 2000 program. UNICEF is expected to contribute health and educational materials while WFP will be responsible for food.

There is a trend in UNHCR funding where one sees cuts in the middle of every year which threaten the quality of services rendered to refugees (both old case load and new arrivals).

This ACT emergency appeal is to cover for the welfare of the new arrivals who are not budgeted for in the care and maintenance program and to support the TCRS emergency intervention due to the new arrivals.


TCRS employs an expatriate Camp Manager, who reports directly to the Tanzania Country Director. He is responsible for the overall management of the TCRS programs in Kibondo. In this task he is assisted by a support team including a finance officer. Monitoring is effected through preparation and review of detailed monthly activity reports including indicators of progress, monthly financial reports against budget, personnel records, stock records, etc. ACT guidelines on reporting will be adhered to.


As is usual in a large UNHCR refugee intervention, there are other agencies and NGOs working in the project as follows:

UNICEF: Provision of Health and Education Inputs

WFP: Food Delivery

CARE: Environmental Education in Kigoma Region

TWESA: Water and Sanitation (Nduta camp)

IRC: Health and Gender Sexual Violence ( Mtendeli, Nduta and Karago Camps)

UMATI: Health and Community services (Kanembwa and Mkugwa) plus Community services (Karago camp)

REDESO: Camp management (Mkugwa camp)

TRCS: Tracing and Family reunification

CARITAS: Management of way stations

A weekly camp level Inter agency meeting is held in the camp where various issues are discussed concerning the camp and the welfare of the refugees. A district level Inter agency meeting is held every month chaired by the UNHCR. The Refugee Commandant representing the government from the Ministry of Home Affairs is also in attendance. At regional level, the Inter agency meetings are held once every month at UNHCR office in Kigoma. The NGO working in Kibondo have an NGO forum and their leaders meet at least once a month to share information and discuss issues pertaining the assistance to the refugees.

The creation of The Lutheran Relief and Development Service Board with membership from TCRS, ELCT, and CCT allows for regular consultations at board meetings and also its sub committees which meet more regularly to discuss various issues.



ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account and inform this office of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers. Please note the Pledge Form is no longer attached with the Appeal.