Burundi: Floods DREF Operation No. MDRBI003

Situation Report
Originally published


The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 146,222 (USD 139,259 or EUR 89,432) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 554 Families who are affected by the recent heavy rain and flooding. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Heavy rains fell in Burundi from 20 October 2008 and subsequent flooding affected several areas of the country. The worst affected were Bujumbura Rural, Cibitoke and Ngozi Provinces where an estimated 554 families had houses damaged and crops ruined by flood waters.

The Burundi Red Cross (BRC) carried out an assessment with the Government and other humanitarian actors and is already responding with immediate relief items to the worst affected. The proposed programme for relief and early recovery includes distribution of basic shelter and non-food items as well as provision of Mosquito nets for the most vulnerable people and replacement of critical seeds and seedling to enable families to replant crops during the current rains.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by 10 January 2009; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 10 April 2009).

The situation

Since the beginning mid September 2008, heavy rains followed by floods in several provinces have resulted in destruction of food crops and houses in many provinces. The provinces most affected were: Bujumbura Rural, Cibitoke and Ngozi Provinces. Although the extent of the crisis is very limited, the most affected households have lost all their crops which they expected to harvest this season. This will increase their vulnerability to food insecurity.

A joint mission of UN agencies with other non governmental organizations (NGOs) such as CARE International and Civil Protection was conducted in the commune of Ngozi province in Nyamurenza to determine the damage caused by floods. They recommended that a team of agricultural experts do a detailed assessment to determine the longer term recovery actions. It was recommended that the vegetable seeds should be immediately distributed to households affected, particularly in the low lying plains of "Ku Murago".

At the same time the Burundi Red Cross has been working provincial secretaries, team leaders, emergency relief volunteers in collaboration with local administrators and heads of communal areas. The objective was to evaluate the damage caused by floods and to provide humanitarian assistance to households most affected by the disaster.

These preliminary assessments indicate that the most affected households have effectively lost all their crops from this short rainy season (September to December). At the same time a number of families have been displaced from their homes by flood damage and are temporarily being housed by neighbours and relatives. The goal of this intervention is therefore to meet the most immediate needs in terms of non food items (NFI) and seeds consisting of beans, sweet potato strings, cuttings of cassava (mosaic resistant) and vegetable seeds for the most vulnerable households in three provinces most affected.

Coordination and partnerships

The coordination of the operation on the ground will be done through collaboration between the BRC branches and their volunteers, formed from emergency response teams. Partner National Societies (PNSs) present in Burundi will also assist in the management of the relief operation.

All Government and non government partners intervening in the three provinces will be involved in the coordination of the operation during the next one month. World Food Programme (WFP) and BRC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to assist each other with the distribution of food rations to the affected households. This is intended to ensure food availability in the households to protect the seeds until the harvest between January and February 2008.

The DREF is intended to assist the BRC to make a rapid response and the Secretary General of Burundi RC will be in regular contact with the Disaster Management Coordinator in the Zone office to ensure the full involvement of the Federation in the operation.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Department in collaboration with disaster management branches of the affected provinces have mobilized their emergency response teams for a rapid assessment of the situation in all areas. This will produce a more accurate picture of the most urgent needs and the households to be targeted for assistance.

MAP - Burundi: Floods (as of 08 Oct 2008) - Situation Map