In the past 6 months, the Rwandan Red Cross (RRCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), provided support to refugees and the host communities. To ensure quality programming (outcome 1), regular monitoring missions took place, a Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) , market assessment in the host community were performed and regular participation in coordination meetings. In terms of health and care (outcome 2), training and additional support services were provided to improve RRCS personnel knowledge on psychosocial support. Training was provided on Community Based Health Sensitization CBHS.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene promotion (outcome 3) was addressed through procurement of materials for the construction of latrines for the refugees and the host communities. In order to provide the target population with hygiene promotion activities, refresher training of volunteers on Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) for the Munini community. This will enable the volunteers to conduct household level hygiene promotion using this PHAST methodology.
In terms of ensuring the immediate shelter and settlement needs of the refugee communities are met (outcome 4), NFI’s, clothing and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits have been procured and partially distributed. In total 500 MHM kits were procured and partly distributed. In addition, MHM assessment was conducted in Mahama camp.
Thanks to the trainings, 54 volunteers in the camp are currently offering first aid, psychosocial support, tracing and distributing essential non-food items, as well as conducting hygiene and health promotion awareness campaigns. To ensure immediate risks of food insecurity, malnutrition and lost livelihoods (outcome 5), sensitization on methods to encouraging environmental protection and food security were performed. Thirty five (35) volunteers were trained on the use of energy saving sources in addition, 500 vegetable/kitchen gardens and 2 nursery beds are being established (on-going). Finally meetings have been held with ICRC, MIDMAR and UNHCR in order to develop contingency medium/long term plan for the response to Burundi refugee situation in Rwanda beyond the timeframe of the Emergency Appeal (Outcome 6).
Description of the disaster
It has been more than eleven (11) months since election violence in Burundi resulted in a number of casualties in the capital of Bujumbura. More than 160,000 people have fled Burundi, seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Since April 2015, over 79,648 Burundi Nationals have sought refuge in Rwanda due to tension and violence occurring before and after presidential elections held in Burundi in July 2015 (see figure 1). On 25 April 2015, Burundi’s incumbent president announced he would stand for a third term in the elections which took place 21 July 2015.He was re-elected and sworn in on 24 July 2015.
Mahama camp is located in Rwanda’s Eastern Province in Kirehe District (270 km from Kigali) and serves as the only permanent camp hosting Burundian refugees in Rwanda. Three (3) smaller transit camps and dozens of entry points host incoming refugees for a few days at a time, until they can be relocated to Mahama. The most recent figures of UNHCR (18th of April 2016) show the following refugee figures (see figure 2).
There are almost 50,000 refugees in Mahama camp alone. There remain ongoing and urgent needs within the entry points, transit camps, and Mahama camp, particularly in Health, hygiene promotion, psychosocial support, beneficiary communication, first aid, protection, and environmental protection. The entry points and transit centres have minimal support from humanitarian agencies. As visible in figure 3, the most recent UNHCR data show the gender and age distribution of the Burundi refugees, which makes it evident that around 47% of the population is under 17 years and around 51% is female.