Burundi

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Burundi reclassified by WHO Africa as a country with moderate community transmission of Covid-19
  • Can the cycle of recurrent food insecurity among the population of Busoni, Kirundo, Bugabira and Ntega be reversed?
  • Over 6,000 patients suffer from ulcer wounds in the province of Muyinga
  • Humanitarian actors warn about the risks of flooding and population displacement during the main rainy season
  • Nearly 5.5% of 889 Burundians people expelled from Tanzania tested positive for Covid-19
Children walk through their village in Gatumba to get to the main road, where families are gathered with their remaining belongings but have nowhere to go, in April 2020. © Lauriane Wolfe/OCHA 2020
Children walk through their village in Gatumba to get to the main road, where families are gathered with their remaining belongings but have nowhere to go, in April 2020. © Lauriane Wolfe/OCHA 2020

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report

Key Figures

12.6M
Population
2.3M
People in need of humanitarian assistance
661K
People targeted for assistance in 2021
580K
People assisted in 2020 (65.5%)
2M
Food insecure people
108K
Internally displaced persons
4069
COVID-19 cases

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report

Funding

$194.7M
Required
$29.9M
Received
15%
Progress
FTS

URL:

Downloaded:

Contacts

Jutta Hinkkanen

Head of Office

Annick Ndayiragije

Public Information Officer

Camille Marquis

Public Information Officer

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Covid-19 cases in Burundi

Burundi reclassified by WHO Africa as a country with moderate community transmission of Covid-19

According to the official Government figures, between 31 March 2020 and 11 March 2021, 2,441 people were tested Covid-19 positive in Burundi out of 162,131 tests conducted with three recorded deaths. Out of the confirmed cases, 562 cases were imported (23.02 per cent) while 1,879 cases were locally transmitted (76.89 per cent), confirming community transmission of Covid-19 in Burundi. In view of the current evolution of the epidemiological situation, which is characterized by a significant resurgence of new cases, particularly in terms of community transmission, Burundi has been reclassified by the WHO Regional Office for Africa from the category of countries with “community transmission of low incidence” to the category of countries with “community transmission of moderate incidence.”

The Government has already organized two mass testing campaigns, the first took place from 6 July to 5 October 2020, and the second one was launched on 11 January 2021 for an initial period of 30 days.

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Fields destroyed by lack of water in Kirundo province (January 2021) ©Annick Ndayiragije/OCHA 2021
Fields destroyed by lack of water in Kirundo province (January 2021) ©Annick Ndayiragije/OCHA 2021

Can the cycle of recurrent food insecurity among the population of Busoni, Kirundo, Bugabira and Ntega be reversed?

The early cessation of rains combined with excessive rainfall and hailstorms have led to the destructions of crops in Kirundo and deteriorated the food security situation during the first cropping season of the year. In Kirundo province, nearly one season out of three has been underperforming since the early 2000s, and households find themselves in a vicious circle of loss and rebuilding of livestock and harvest for the lean season. Due to frequent destruction of crops for the past 20 years, households have had to plant new seeds every two years. With the right weather conditions, the region has high production potential. For example, 2018 was considered a normal year, with Kirundo province becoming the leading producer of pulses and the second largest producer of cereals, accounting for 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively of national production (source: ENAB 2017-2018). In 2021, however, households in eight zones of Busoni, Bugabira and Kirundo communes have lost seeds and crops because of the water deficit. The water deficit in some localities of Kirundo province, coupled with excessive rainfall in others, has affected some 20 per cent of households in the Northern Depression – or Bugesera – livelihood zone, representing 36,372 households in the communes of Busoni, Bugabira, Kirundo and Ntega, according to the estimates of the multisectoral assessment mission that took place from 21 to 23 January 2021. This new assessment identified 19,500 households in urgent need of seed and food assistance. As the shocks have occurred at the crucial flowering and ripening phase of the season’s crops, the damage to the 2021A season’s crops is significant, especially for cereals and pulses in the most affected areas. Elsewhere in the province, production is considered normal. With regards to nutrition, the preliminary results of the SMART survey of September 2020 concluded that the nutrition situation in Kirundo is precarious with a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 7 per cent, up from 4 per cent in 2019. Since the beginning of the situation in December 2020, the following has been reported:

  • Loss of pulse and cereal crops from the 2021A season with corn and sorghum stalks in fields used only as fodder for livestock;

  • Dozens of households have left the province for other provinces in search of livelihood opportunities (for example, displacement to Cankuzo province);

  • Cases of school dropouts, particularly in primary schools where the school feeding program has been suspended by the World Food Program (WFP) due to lack of funding (for example, according to monitoring reports by the provincial education inspectorate, one school in Cewe reports that a quarter of the school population or 200 students out of 800 have dropped out). WFP plans to resume the program in 30 targeted schools in the near future;

  • Reports of increasing cases of malnutrition, including severe malnutrition and oedema, according to Concern World Wide (CWW). The peak of cases is expected during the lean season between March and May 2021;

  • Increasing cases of begging and numbers of street children;

  • Reports of disruption of Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), due to migration (for example, a CWW-supported pig farm whose members have informed the organization that they are unable to continue managing the farm while they go find food for their families; case of CARE GROUP volunteers affected by current displacements, etc.);

  • Limited dry food stocks;

  • Market availability is improving, particularly for beans with the advent of the 2021 season crops in the unaffected hills;

  • Regarding crop prospects, while the affected hills expect no cereal and pulse crops for the 2021A season, crop prospects are good for the other unaffected localities, despite the risk of overlap with the 2021B season, particularly for sorghum.

The needs are compounded by aggravating factors, particularly those related to the significant movement of returnees from Mahama camp in Rwanda since August 2020 (nearly 70 per cent of Burundian refugees in Mahama camp are from Kirundo province), the reduced coverage of the school feeding program (37 schools compared to 62 previously), the impact of Covid-19, painted grasshoppers (Zonocerus variegatus) and swine diseases. The administration has called for local and national solidarity to support the affected households, as well as for the strengthening of crops in the marshes. Resilience activities have been accelerated, including with the initiation of a project to install weather stations, with UNDP assistance, to improve local early warning capacity. There are also plans to set up a hill irrigation project on Lake Rweru with the support of UNDP, the National Fund for Communal Investment (FONIC) and FAO. In addition to this, there is a need to provide seed assistance before March through seed fairs or cash activities . This should be combined with food assistance during the lean season in the lead up to the 2021B harvest (June 2021), as well as with the acceleration and scaling up of ongoing resilience actions, namely the UNDP-FONIC-FAO irrigation project, the strengthening of small-scale irrigation, the continuation of the school feeding program, and reforestation activities. Should no assistance be provided, the following scenarios could occur:

  • The affected households risk missing the 2021B cropping season without seeds and, in turn, the June 2021 harvest. As a consequence, food insecurity is expected to persist and deteriorate until the end of the year;

  • Affected households will need assistance during the lean season, with the risk of households resorting to negative coping mechanisms that could affect livelihoods (displacement, sales of productive and non-productive assets);

  • Lack of support for nutritional services could lead to the degradation of nutritional status and overburden of ongoing programs for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report
Background
Treatment of ulcer wounds by Médecins Sans Frontières - © MSF Belgium
Treatment of ulcer wounds by Médecins Sans Frontières - © MSF Belgium

Over 6,000 patients suffer from ulcer wounds in the province of Muyinga

The first alert concerning the disease was issued in November 2019. To date, the Government data shows that 10,000 people have been infected with ulcer wounds since the end of 2020 in five provinces, including Muyinga, which accounts for a large number of cases. The other provinces notifying similar cases are Muramvya, Gitega, Makamba and Kirundo. This disease, which is not yet well known, was initially investigated as suspect Buruli ulcers cases. Samples have been collected by the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The tests results will allow healthcare providers to better understand the condition and adapt the treatment protocol and a holistic management scheme for patients, who are mostly children. Almost 80 per cent of the diagnosed patients, aged between 0 and 60, are children under 16 years of age. This category of the population is highly exposed to the disease and the reasons are being investigated. To treat the disease, healthcare providers, clean wounds, apply clean dressings to avoid further infection and if the wound is infected, provide antibiotics. Access to soap, slippers and clean water remain key in this type of context and disease. Further investigations will hopefully specify the most adapted prevention measures that could be put in place in Muyinga and in the other areas notifying cases. Recurrences have been reported. The cause remains unknown, however it is assumed they are linked to recontamination or non-observation of the prescribed treatment. Further investigations are ongoing in Muyinga province with the support of MSF, in collaboration with the MSPLS. While significant efforts have been made to combat the disease, other areas are notifying cases with not yet an adapted response, and further synergies between responding partners and the Government in both reporting, managing and preventing cases is encouraged.

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination

Humanitarian actors warn about the risks of flooding and population displacement during the main rainy season

Over the past two years, the level of Lake Tanganyika has risen by more than one meter compared to its average level. This has led to flooding in areas around the lake and damage to infrastructure while further heavy rains are expected in February and March. Ruzizi River, 117 kilometers long, forms a natural border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Rwanda. It brings water flows from Lake Kivu, lying at 1,500 meters above sea level while Lake Tanganyika is at 773 meters above sea level. Rusizi River collects water from several tributaries before discharging at a rate of 540 cubic meters of water per second into Lake Tanganyika. The latter is also supplied by water from Malagarazi, Ifume, Lufubu and Lunangwa rivers, and discharges its waters at a rate of 270 cubic meters of water per second into a tributary of Congo River, Lukuga River. Due to heavy rainfalls in the region over the recent period, the area around the mouth of the lake is regularly flooded by rising water levels around the dams on Rusizi River. This phenomenon has had and continues to have an impact on Burundi, most recently this has led to Rusizi River floods have spilled into neighborhoods of Gatumba and Rukaramu zones. According to meteorological experts, the same phenomenon occurred about 50 years ago when the lake level had risen by three meters and several infrastructures around Ruzizi River were inundated, including Melchior Ndadaye International Airport. Since then, construction in this flood-risk zone has increased. Recently, the same areas have experienced two waves of flooding with over 45,000 people affected by the end of April 2020. As of January 2021, 2,740 households or 13,700 people continue to live in the four IDP sites (762 in Kigaramango, 2,525 in Kinyinya II, 130 in Mafubo, 572 in Maramvya Sobel). These numbers are the results of a profiling exercise carried out jointly by the Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) under the underfunded emergencies category. In January 2021, another wave of flooding caused further human and material damages. One death and one injury were recorded as a result of attacks by aquatic animals, and several homes and public infrastructure (schools, one hospital, and one triage and isolation center for Ebola Virus Disease, EVD) were damaged. Over 1,200 households, the majority of which had just returned to their neighborhoods, were displaced again. Thanks to the mobilization of financial resources and the efforts of various partners, the affected people have been provided with temporary shelter, access to health care, food rations for three months, hygiene kits, latrines and safe drinking water. However, much more is needed. Given that the zones of Gatumba and Rukaramu remain flooded, some of the displaced persons cannot return to their homes in the near future. Mobilizing resources for multi-sectoral emergency assistance, reinforcing the resilience of these households by strengthening adaptation measures and implementing durable solutions remain a priority for all actors.

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination

Nearly 5.5% of 889 Burundians people expelled from Tanzania tested positive for Covid-19

Since 12 January 2021, 889 undocumented Burundians (according to the Tanzanian administration) have been deported to Burundi via the border from Gisuru to Cijongo, in Gisuru commune, Ruyigi province. Among them, the provincial authorities and the Burundian Red Cross (CRB) registered 49 people who tested positive to Covid-19 (5.5%). As of 25 February, 68 people were in quarantine in Cijongo, 30 in Kabanga and 46 in Muhwazi. The majority of the deported are young men between 18 and 29 years of age. Before returning to their home communities, they have to stay in quarantine for at least seven days. Given this critical situation, a rapid multisectoral assessment mission to Cijongo site, led by the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management, the Ministry of Health and OCHA, was organized on 10 February to assess the implementation of response to address the needs of those expelled from Cijongo. The Governor of Ruyigi, the Burundi Red Cross (CRB), UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), WFP, IOM, and the Terre des Hommes Foundation. According to the CRB, 60 per cent of the people expelled are from Ruyigi province and 40 per cent from the provinces of Karusi, Cankuzo, Gitega, Muyinga, Makamba, Ngozi, Kayanza, and Bururi. At the time of the mission, Cijongo site was receiving about 30 arrivals per day. Local solidarity efforts by the administration and the CRB in the first few days were relatively limited due to the large number of people expelled and the positive Covid-19 registered. In support of the administration's actions, MSF-B set up a 5,000 liter tank to supply water at Cijongo site. With funding from UNHCR, the Council for Education and Development (COPED) has installed two latrine blocks, including four latrines for women and four for men, and undertakes disinfection when necessary. Evicted people have also been assisted with shelter (tents) and non-food items by MSF-B, IOM and the CRB in Cijongo, Kinyinya, Kabanga and Mugege (Butaganzwa). The CRB will extend food provision to the site, with Gisuru communal administration providing fuel for cooking. WFP has already conducted a rapid needs assessment in Cijongo and suggested serving hot meals to limit contact between people. Take-home food rations will also be provided to the expelled. Following new arrivals, the mission suggested that WFP establish an estimated caseload of distribution per week. As of 9 February, 25 Covid-19 positive cases were being treated in hospitals in Ruyigi. However, challenges remain, including lack of structures (isolation area at Rema Hospital), equipment (ambulance, PPE), supplies (fuel) as well as hazard pay for the frontline responders. Advocacy efforts with the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS (MSPLS) include calls for the establishment of Cijongo site as an entry point, for an ambulance to be made available for the exclusive transport of Covid-19 positive cases from the site to Ruyigi hospital, and for an isolation area to be set up inside Rema hospital. Advocacy efforts also requested the Tanzanian authorities to halt expulsions in the context of Covid-19 and to ensure dignified and secure reception and return.

URL:

Downloaded:

Burundi

Situation Report
Coordination

Humanitarian Program Cycle (HPC) 2021

The Humanitarian Planning Process for 2021 is about to be finalized. At the time of writing, the HNO has just been published and the consultations between OCHA and government partners are continuing on the HRP. According to the humanitarian needs analysis, 2.3 million people will require humanitarian assistance in 2021. The needs are generated by the shocks Burundi continues to face, which mainly affect already fragile communities. Shocks primarily include natural disasters that regularly affect crops, further weaken the nutritional and food security situation of the most vulnerable and cause displacements of populations in search of shelter and livelihoods. Additionally, the return of Burundian refugees from neighboring countries has increased considerably in the second half of 2020 and this upward trend is expected to continue in 2021 with 143,000 returns expected. These returns are expected to put additional pressure on host communities in a context of pre-existing poverty and significant vulnerability. Finally, regular outbreaks of diseases with epidemic potential such as cholera and malaria, added to the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19, are likely to continue to weaken the most vulnerable populations. Among those in need, 1.06 million most vulnerable people will be targeted for multisectoral humanitarian response in 2021. These include internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and other vulnerable categories of the population affected by humanitarian emergencies. To implement this response, US$195.2 million are required. The financial requirements have been identified based on unit costs per activity. They are broken down as follows, 53 per cent for the multi-sectoral response to meet the humanitarian needs of IDPs, returnees and other vulnerable categories affected by humanitarian emergencies while 28 per cent is allocated for the refugee response (Refugee Response Plan) and 19 per cent for the three-month assistance package for new returnees. The funds required in 2021 decreased by 2 per cent compared to 2020,[1] despite a 19 per cent increase in the number of people targeted. This decrease is explained by the high cost of some activities that were planned for 2020 and were not or only partially included in the 2021 HRP. These include, for example, the distance learning in the event of a lockdown.

[1] Note that the initial HRP for 2020 required US$114 million. When the HRP was revised in July 2020, this request was increased to take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the continuity of HRP interventions and the cost of new humanitarian activities for Covid-19 prevention and response.

URL:

Downloaded: