A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
In the afternoon of 29 March 2015, heavy rains caused floods and landslides in Muhuta, a commune of Bujumbura Rural Province, in Western Burundi. In Muhuta commune, the most affected collines (meaning “hill” in French) were Nyaruhongoka and Rutunga, located on the edge of Lake Tanganyika. The disaster-affected population was mainly made of farmers, fishermen and business men (around the “national road number 5”, between Bujumbura and Rumonge), who live in very poor villages in one of the most vulnerable areas in the cholera belt in southern of Burundi. According to the initial rapid assessment carried out by Burundi Red Cross Society (BRCS) volunteers, the floods and landslides resulted in the damage or destruction of 349 houses, 2 churches, 1 health centre, and 2 schools (1 primary and 1 secondary school) with the affected area entirely covered by mud and stones. In addition, other public infrastructure was also damaged, including 5 km of the national road number 5, between Bujumbura and Rumonge, which impacted on access to and from the affected area. Due to the destruction caused to national road number 5, people were forced to use Lake Tanganyika for the transportation of people and goods by pirogue, putting them under high risk of drowning.
Following the disaster, the displaced population sought refuge in the houses of their relatives and neighbours, which put pressure on the limited resources of their hosts; while those whose homes didn’t collapse faced the risk of being swept away by rains, which were expected to continue until May 2015 (the end of the rainy season in Burundi) (Source: Department of Meteorology of Burundi – IGEBU). Many of these families left their homes, but others remained since they were trying to protect their goods and had nowhere to relocate. Furthermore, people in the area had just begun the planting season and the landslides destroyed their crops, as well as destroying shops, and killing livestock (goats and poultry).
Additional damages included:
• Destruction of a small market place
• Destruction of shops interrupting business activities
• Destruction of a palm oil refining/production site
• Destruction of a co-operative (goats, poultry and mushrooms)
On 7 April 2015, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released CHF 45,488 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the BRCS respond to the needs of the flood and landslide affected population, targeting 1,745 people with interventions in the areas of: restoration of family links, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, for a period of three months. This DREF has been replenished by the Belgian Government and DG ECHO. The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the USA, as well as DG ECHO, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) the Medtronic and Zurich Foundations and other corporate and private donors. The IFRC, on behalf of the Burundi Red Cross Society would like to extend its thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.