Burundi: Landslide Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRBI011

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On the 29th of March 2015, in the afternoon, heavy rains caused floods and landslides in Muhuta, a commune of Bujumbura Rural Province, in Western Burundi. The most affected Collines are Nyaruhongoka and Rutunga (in Muhuta commune) which are located on the edge of the lake Tanganyika.
The affected population are mainly farmers, fishermen and business men around the national road number 5, between Bujumbura and Rumonge. They belong to very poor villages from one of the most vulnerable area of the cholera belt.

According to the first rapid assessment carried out by the Burundi Red Cross volunteers, this event resulted in the destruction of 349 houses, 2 churches, 1 health centre, 2 schools (1 primary and 1 secondary). Two bridges were also destroyed together with 5 km of the national road number 5, between Bujumbura and Rumonge (in the South of Burundi).

The heavy stones which rolled down the hills, weighing up to 2 tonnes each, are currently blocking the roads and therefore preventing all commercial activities for the affected population.

The displaced population found refuge in the houses of their relatives and neighbours, which put the limited resources of the hosting population under high pressure. The areas where they used to live, as well as the common areas, are entirely covered by stones and mud.

The population is now forced to use the lake for transportation of persons and goods by canoe, putting them at high risk of drowning. A unconfirmed number of houses constructed on parts of the hills which did not collapse are currently facing a very high risk of being swept away, until the end of the rainy season expected to end around mid-May 2015 (source: Department of Meteorology of Burundi – IGEBU). Some of those households have left their homes, but most of them remain since they are trying to protect their personal belongings and have nowhere to relocate to.

Among the affected population, the number of missing people is estimated at 10 and the number of injured is estimated at 12.

Additional damages might include (to be confirmed):

  • Destruction of a small market place

  • Destruction of shops thus interruption of business activities

  • Destruction of a palm oil refining/production site

  • Destruction of a cooperative (goats, poultry and mushrooms)

  • Relatively minor damages of bean fields in the hills by the landslide

  • Households in this area had just planted seeds, the landslides destroyed the small amount of available seeds stock