Floods hit again Bujumbura northern areas

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On 4 April 2017 saa 10:53
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The torrential rain that fell in the afternoon of 2 April claimed the life of one kid and caused a lot of damage. Floods have inundated houses and infrastructures in Kamenge northern neighborhood of the capital Bujumbura. The victims demand that the drainage channels be rehabilitated.

Houses, schools, shops, roads, Kamenge market… were struck by floods due to the torrential rain that has fallen on 2 April in the northern neighborhoods of the Burundian capital Bujumbura. “Some of our belongings were taken away by the floods”, says a resident of Heha neighborhood in Kamenge area in the northern part of the capital. She also says students did not attend classes. “Their school kits were also damaged”, she says. At Kamenge II Fundamental School, students stayed at home. “We could not attend classes as floods had inundated our schools”, says a young pupil met at that school.

Jean Marie Nshimirimana, a local chief of Heha neighborhood, says the heavy rain caused the destruction of dozens of houses. “All houses located near the Nyabagere River were affected by this disaster”, he says. Nshimirimana also says the residents of the locality are trying to help each other remove the mud around their homes”, he says.

Inhabitants of the locality demand the rehabilitation of the drainage channels and the Nyabagere River, the main cause of these floods especially whenever a heavy rain falls. “As the channels were too small, all rainwater from the mountains took away trees and all dirt which blocked them and caused the inundation of homes”, says Bonaventure Nkeshimana, local chief of Kavumu neighborhood in Kamenge zone.

Work in progress to rehabilitate rivers

Eddy-Paul Hakizimana, Administrator of Ntahangwa commune in the capital Bujumbura, says one kid was taken away by Nyabagere River. “He was with his mother on a motorcycle. While they were crossing the Nyabagere River bridge, the motorcycle slipped and fell into the river. Thanks to the intervention of the nearby residents, two people were saved but the kid was already taken away. We are still looking for his body”, says Hakizimana.

The Administrator says works are in progress to rehabilitate the Nyabagere, Gasenyi and Kinyankonge Rivers in the northern areas of the capital Bujumbura in order to prevent other floods from causing additional damage.

On 17 March 2017, six people died including five children of the same family and hundreds of houses were destroyed following the heavy rains. About 250 families were made homeless and sheltered in the Bumwe Fundamental School in Buterere zone in Ntahangwa commune in the north of Bujumbura.

In February 2014, severe floods caused a lot of damage and claimed over 100 human lives in Gatunguru zone, in northern Bujumbura. The main cause was the poor construction of the drainage channels of the Gasenyi River.

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Pupils did not attend classes due to floods that hit their classrooms.