Burundi: Floods & Landslides Flash Update No. 3, 12 December 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



• On the night of 4 December, torrential rains and strong winds triggered flash floods, mudflows and landslides over at least a dozen hills around Nyempundu, in Mugina commune (Cibitoke).

• 27 bodies were pulled out of the mud, 10 people disappeared, 7 injured people were evacuated to the Cibitoke referral hospital, while 206 households were displaced.

• An organised response is underway, coordinated by OCHA and in collaboration with the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management.


Since January 2019, heavy rains have continued to affect thousands of people, displaced nearly 13,000 people and killed at least 45 people. With the early onset of the September 2019 rainy season and above-average rainfall forecasted, the risk of natural disasters occurring in the coming days is increasing. East Africa has recently experienced a bout of unseasonably heavy rainfall due to higher-than-average water temperatures in the Indian Ocean, which is partially attributed to a larger, global phenomenon of rising ocean temperatures. Burundi is among the twenty most vulnerable countries to climate change and natural hazards.

According to the last human toll on December 11, 27 people were killed, and 10 people are still missing. 6 of the 7 injured people were discharged by the hospitals that cared for them. The seventh person remaining in intensive care was evacuated to the Kigobe hospital, managed by MSF-B.

The burial will take place today, 12 December, in the Nyamakarabo area. 206 households were displaced and are sheltered by host families, according to the joint teams from Civil Protection and the Burundi Red Cross (BRC), who carried out a second visit to the disaster site on 10 December. The administration continues to look for a relocation space for 500 households.


One week after the landslide shock occurred, assistance remains limited to the contributions of the authorities, through search and rescue operations, the extraction of corpses, and the evacuation of the wounded to nearby hospitals.
Food needs are felt by these affected households (including host families), which have lost everything, despite the food assistance that was provided by the Ministry of National Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender.

According to the latest assessments, in order of priority, the most urgent needs are food, access to safe drinking water, shelter and non-food items (NFI), psychosocial support and access between hills and villages.
Access to the area remains hampered by landslides that have damaged the roads crossing the area. Moreover, wooden bridges cannot allow heavy machinery to pass through.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.