BUJUMBURA, 4 May 2021 – An estimated 8,000 families have been impacted by floods provoked by the rising waters of Lake Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi’s biggest city.
Two thousand people have been forced to flee flooded homes in several lakeside communities.
The worst-hit areas include Bugarama, Gatumba, Gisyo, Kabondo, Kanyenkoko, Kibenga, Muhuta, Nyanza-Lac, and Rukaramu in Bujumbura Rural Province.
More families are being displaced as the flooded area expands further inland and more homes in the flooded area collapse.
Heavy rainfall has caused the waters of the Rusizi River to overflow their banks, destroying nearby homes and farmlands.
Lake Tanganyika’s levels have been rising slowly but steadily since last February and stood at 776.45 meters above sea level as of last April 19.
The first homes were flooded ever since January and the floods have not stopped worsening as rain continues to pound Bujumbura.
More rain is in the forecast until mid-May 2021, according to meteorologists.
Experts have warned that if the lake levels cross 777 meters above sea level, residents should prepare to evacuate the neighborhoods around Bujumbura Port as flooding is expected to hit those areas as well and, maybe, beyond.
Over 280 people were killed across East Africa last year during one of the worst rainy season floods to hit the region in decades.