from OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) – THOUSANDS of households in Burundi are stranded as the Lake Tanganyika water levels rise to heights never seen before in 57 years.
The longest fresh water lake in the world and the second deepest globally 776,45 metres, while the average lake level is 772,7m.
After a series of floods, this stands above the surface level of parts of the capital city of Bujumbura and of some coastal localities.
The current rise in the level of Lake Tanganyika is compared to that of 1964.
In recent years, heavy rains following the global phenomena of El niño, combined with local specificities, have swelled the bed of Lake Tanganyika.
The Lukuga river, on the side of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is its outlet as well as the surface evaporation did not contain the flow.
According to the weather forecast, precipitation will continue until mid-May.
“With a saturated water table, the runoff coefficient reduced, floods will continue to flow,” said a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Following a series of floods since 2015, more than 6 300 households have been affected in the Bujumbura province.
Some areas were slowly recovering from the aftermath of the April-May 2020 floods.
“This phenomenon threatens the entire coastal area,” the humanitarian spokesperson warned.
It is feared this could worsen the situation of pre-existing vulnerabilities due to the socioeconomic effects of coronavirus and other combined factors.
With a length of 73 kilometres, Tanganyika is shared between Burundi, DRC, Tanzania and Zambia.
– CAJ News