The Burundian government has begun the distribution of 18 tonnes of food aid to thousands of people in the northwestern province of Bubanza who were displaced by floods in late April.
Beneficiaries of the aid included 327 households in the communes of Gihanga and Mpanda, the two most-affected areas. The nation's first vice-president, Martin Nduwimana, presided over the first distribution in Gihanga commune on Friday. "Since the catastrophe occurred, the government has been collecting relief from its own funds and from donor organisations," he said. "This relief that we have so far collected is directed at the most needy."
The food aid comprised beans and cassava flour. Each household received 30kg of flour and 25kg of beans. "I admit that the relief is not adequate, as you will have to share with another commune," Nduwimana said.
In mid-May, heavy rains caused two rivers to burst their banks in Bubanza, killing nine people and displacing thousands of others. The floods also destroyed a cemetery. In the central province of Muramvya, floods killed 11 people, destroyed 200 homes and damaged at least 1,800 acres of crops.
Flooding destroyed an estimated 500 homes in Gihanga, rendering 2,000 people homeless. They have been living with families whose homes were not affected. The floods also destroyed rice and cotton crops, the main cash crops in the area. Gihanga administration officials said they expect low yields.
With the dry season setting in the province, there is also concern over insufficient grazing land, as the vegetation in the lowland communes dries up.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Help make quality journalism about crises possible
The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.
Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story.
We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises. Become a member of The New Humanitarian today.