Heavy flooding from the rising waters of Lake Tanganyika at the port of Bujumbura in Burundi has affected 8,000 families with around 2000 people displaced in lakeside communities –including Bugarama, Kanyenkoko, Muhuta, Nyanza-Lac, Gatumba, Rukaramu, Kibenga, Gisyo and Kabondo in the province of Bujumbura Rural, roughly 12 km outside the city.
The revelations are derived from an April 25 report by The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The report also documents that the number of people affected could most probably rise as flooded houses continue to collapse.
The lake’s levels have been slowly rising since February 2021 and stood at 776.45 metres above sea level as of April 19 — as on that night, torrential rains caused the banks of the Ruzizi River to overflow.
Residents who spoke to Africa24.news told of the suffering they are enduring. “These waters have flooded our homes since January, but they started little by little in November and December. These waters have destroyed everything we had in the house.”
Regional maritime experts have warned the media that if the lake’s levels exceed 777 metres, areas around Bujumbura port will also see flooding.
Heavy rainfall since the start of April has worsened the situation with further rainfall predicted until mid-May. In addition, strong winds and landslides have also affected hundreds of people in other parts of the country, the majority of whom are now displaced.