BUJUMBURA September 21st (ABP) – Heavy rainfall is forecast for the period from September to December 2023, according to the president of the national platform for risk prevention and disaster management, Mr. Anicet Nibaruta, during the exchange meeting on the results, good practices and lessons learned from the “TUBEHONEZA” project, implemented by IOM in collaboration with the government of Burundi, through the national platform for risk prevention and disaster management in Burundi.
Based on a note presented on September 6, 2023 by the Geographical Institute of Burundi (IGEBU), Mr. Nibaruta announced that these precipitations will be due to the el-ninho phenomenon which arises on the surface of the Pacific Ocean and which will interact with the Indian Ocean dipole phenomenon in Dar-Es-Salam. The two phenomena have the same behavior, which means that they are followed by heavy rainfall in the area where Burundi is located, he added.
He took the opportunity to ask the administration to supervise communities to dig runoff drainage channels to avoid flooding, draw contour lines and plant anti-erosion hedges and trees that can live with cultures. He also called on the people to practice hygiene and sanitation to avoid diseases from dirty hands.
For his part, he indicated that the national platform for risk prevention and disaster management in Burundi is working with humanitarian actors and plans to rehabilitate the Maramvya sobel and Kinyinya 2 sites, to prepare to temporarily accommodate households who will be forced to leave their areas of origin following this heavy rainfall.
Concerning Gatumba, the area most threatened by flooding, Mr. Nibaruta revealed the community resilience project currently being implemented, with the support of UNDP, consisting of building dikes on both sides of the Rusizi River, and an amount of 350,000 dollars was planned for that work. However, he deplores that the development of those dikes was going to be done over only 2 km on the Rusizi which is approximately 12 km, which would be an error because it would be better to do a complete job so that this problem of flooding in Gatumba is resolved, he argued.
Based on that, he pointed out that the Prime Minister took the issue into his own hands and brought together the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Infrastructure, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Environment and that of National Solidarity. They were able to set up, through the Ministry of Infrastructure, a technical team responsible for identifying areas subject to repetitive flooding, identifying infrastructure threatened by flooding in Gatumba and identifying the location area for the installation of households who will be forced to leave the Gatumba area following these floods. Mr. Nibaruta further informed that the commission has given reports and that they are awaiting the general direction of the structure of their hierarchy to know what to expect in relation to the development of those dykes.