More than 100,000 thousand have been displaced by natural disaster in Burundi

More than 100,000 thousand have been displaced by natural disaster in Burundi

More than 100,000 thousand have been displaced by natural disaster in Burundi

/ SOCIETE / Sunday, 26 September 2021 19:48

source photo: news in 24

By Kabakura Jean Bosco Ceusi

Natural disasters sparked by climate change have forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes in Burundi in recent years. The report of the British charity 'Save the Children' says in its recently  released report .

From the data published in the report, it appears that climate shocks and not conflicts are now the main cause of internal displacement in this landlocked East African country, which has a largely rural population. Apparently, over 84 %  of all internally displaced people in Burundi had to move due to natural disasters, mostly due to the rise of Lake Tankganyika, Africa's second largest make,  rather than to conflict. 

Children have been particularly hard-hit. Of the estimated 7,200  displaced people,  7 %  are babies under the age of one. The charity says that older children are unable to attend school, with many surviving on just one meal a day. Arielle, a teenager whose home was swallowed up in the middle of the night by the lake's rising waters, told Save the Children she struggled to subsist by carrying and stacking bricks for $1.20 a day, equivalent to   1 "I eat most days, but some days I miss meals altogether," the 17-year-old said.

'A gross injustice'

Displaced farmers told the charity that flooding disasters had intensified in recent years. "The situation has become worse than it used to be. The last flood  covered up everything and never went back," said Marie, a mother-of-three. «I fear the children are going to die from hunger ».

Maggie Korde, the charity's country director for Rwanda and Burundi, warned: "The world seems to have forgotten Burundi, and yet the country is bearing the brunt of global climate change, with children the most affected. "We  see families that previously had solid homes, all children in school,  both parents  working, reduced now to living in tents with no employment, no food, and kids having to work for a dollar a day to support their family," she said. "This is a gross injustice for a community that has already experienced so much hardship."

Extreme weather

The report comes two years after relentless rains affected close to two million people in East Africa, and left at least 265 dead, according to an  AFP tally.

The extreme weather was blamed on the sharp difference in sea surface temperature between the western and eastern areas of the Indian Ocean, with warmer waters resulting in higher evaporation and moist air flowing inwards over the continent as rain.

The waters around East Africa have been about two degrees Celsius warmer than those of the eastern Indian Ocean near Australia — an imbalance well beyond the norm.

A leaked UN climate science report, seen exclusively by AFP in June, predicts that flooding will in the future displace 2.7 million people in Africa annually and 85 million  of them  orced from their homes by 2050.

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