Children bear brunt of Burundi climate disasters


Burundians affected by flooding Lake Tanganyika

from OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) CLIMATE shocks, the most recent being the flooding caused by the Lake Tanganyika, have forced more than 103 000 Burundians from their homes.

Lake Tanganyika broke its banks last year, exacerbating an already dire situation as a result of floods, storms and landslides.

Displacements have escalated over the past three years.

According to Save the Children, over 84 percent of all internally displaced people in Burundi have been displaced due to natural disasters rather than conflict, mostly due to the rise of Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s second-largest lake.

It rose to 776,4 metres above sea level in April compared to the normal average of 772,7 metres, submerging hundreds of homes and farms in the process.

Children are being uniquely affected by the crisis.

Save the Children has called on the international community to urgently fund Burundi’s humanitarian response, with at least 2,8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including nearly 1,3 million children.

Burundi’s 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan is only 15,3 per cent funded, leaving huge gaps in the provision of basic essentials, including food, clean water and shelter.

“While many families in Burundi have over the years experienced conflict and poverty, most have until now been able to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families,” said Maggie Korde, Save the Children’s Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi.

The official said with the rise of Lake Tanganyika, families were left desperate.

“This is a gross injustice for a community that has already experienced so much hardship,” said Korde.

She said the world seems to have forgotten Burundi yet it’s bearing the brunt of global climate change, with children the most affected.

“We have a collective responsibility to support the children of Burundi to respond and adapt to these changes, while at the global level work to combat the devastating trajectory of climate change,” Korde said.

– CAJ News






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