Burundi Humanitarian Background
For information on Burundi government and humanitarian contact details, please see the following links:
Disasters, Conflicts and Migration
Yes / No
Comments / Details
In the following ecological regions: Imbo (West), Mosso (East) and Bugusera (North)
Cholera in the provinces along Lake Tanganyika (Cibitoke, Bujumbura, Bururi, Makamba (Nyanza-Lac)
For more information see link: EMDAT Burundi Country Profile
High Waves / Surges
Current political situation for more information see link: IRIN Website
Internally Displaced Persons
For information see the following link: UNHCR
Landmines / UXO Present
*For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters: EMDAT Information on Burundi
Calamities and Seasonal Affects
Natural: Flood, pest/infestation and forest or bush fire. Flood disasters can occur during rainy seasons while drought can affect populations when dry seasons are longer than usual.
Floods: Rainfall has a critical influence on most of the socio-economic activities in Burundi.
Over 80% of the population lives in rural areas and are engaged in various agricultural activities including subsistence farming and livestock keeping. Burundi, like many parts of Africa, experiences extreme climate events such as floods and recurrent drought.
In the long term, Crop failure, chronic food shortages and droughts do occur in the country. According to WFP, food security for the majority of Burundians has not improved in recent years, despite the resumption of relative peace in the country. Even during harvest season, households spend up to 60 per cent of their income on food.
During these difficult times, many households employ a wide variety of coping strategies such as off-farm employment, temporary migration, petty trade, transport and trading in food commodities across food economy zones and participation in food-for-work projects. Some households also reduce the number of daily meals and/or the quantity eaten per meal.
Climate is equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m.
There are four seasons: 2 dry seasons from June to August and December to January; 2 wet (rainy) seasons from February to May and September to November. The average annual rainfall is about 150 cm. The heaviest rain falls are in the months of February and May. It’s possible to have four hours of rain in a day during this period.
Seasonal Affects on Transport
Due to a poor drainage system, there is serious flooding of the roads in urban areas during the rainy season.
During the rains, some roads become difficult to navigate, especially in the rural areas where the roads are full of mud and potholes. However, light 4 wheel drive cars can cope with this road condition.
Heavy vehicles might not be able to operate in these conditions.
Potential seasonal effects on miscellaneous handling and storage activities include the stoppage of handling operations at the port for perishable goods when it rains.
The equipment operators and labourers will stop work and will only resume after the rain has ceased. This break in operations can last for up four hours in a day.
As it is common in many parts of Africa, rains will most of the time disrupt operations of any kind till it ceases.
Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response
There is the National Security Council (Le Conseil National de la Sécurité; CNS) headed by the President, who is the head of state of the Republic of Burundi.
The Council is responsible for providing disaster relief in the form of food, medicine and assistance with temporary shelter and reconstruction.
Other members of this council are the Minister of Defence, the Minister of the Interior etc. In the case of an emergency, this council names an ad hoc commission in charge of overseeing the disaster relief.
NGO Capacity in terms of offering services to other agencies is limited. Currently, the services provided are geared towards the implementation of their own (NGO) project activities.
A key part of the work is to investigate the capacity of all the humanitarian actors in the country as well as identify gaps and the way forward to address them.
UN agencies and NGOs have trucking capacity that can be used for humanitarian response.
For information on Burundi humanitarian background additional details, please see the following document: 4.2 Burundi Humanitarian Agency Contact List