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Burundi: Floods - Apr 2021

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Lake Tanganyika water level have been rising since February 2021. Heavy rainfall since the start of April has worsened the situation with further rainfall predicted until mid-May. As of 19 April 2021, the level of Lake Tanganyika stood at 776.4 metres above sea level compared to the normal average level of 772.7 metres. From April 12, 2021 in the province of Rumonge households near the shores were flooded. In parts of the lakes, it reported the coastline has expanded 300 to 500m. Houses are flooded, and families forced to leave to evacuation centres or host families. UNOCHA reported around 8,000 families have been affected and 2,000 displaced by flooding in lakeside communities including Bugarama, Kanyenkoko, Muhuta, Nyanza-Lac, Gatumba, Rukaramu, Kibenga, Gisyo and Kabondo. Two casualties have been recorded to date. On 20 April 2021, the Government (through the Meteorological Director General) officially declared the disaster and asked the affected populations to evacuate the flooded areas in the provinces of Rumonge, Makamba in the Nyanza-Lac Commune, Bujumbura Capital and Bujumbura Rural in the Mutimbuzi Commune in the zone of the Gatumba and Rukaramu areas. The Government has asked humanitarian actors to be mobilized to assist the affected people. Rains are expected till mid-May. As the waters continue to rise and the impact of the floods evolves continued assessment is underway by BRCS and other humanitarian partners. In addition, the Government are also considering their response in the short and long term it meets the needs of the affected population living in flood and landslide affected areas. (IFRC, 30 Apr 2021)

The flooding situation due to the overflow of Lake Tanganyika is worsening in Burundi, resulting in displacement. According to UN OCHA, at least 6,400 households (33,982 people) have been displaced, of which 3,041 in Rukaramu area and 3,351 in Gatumba (western Burundi). The Burundi Red Cross is providing help for those most affected and has erected emergency shelters for 467 households. For the next 24 hours, moderate rain is forecast over most parts of the country. (ECHO, 20 May 2021)