First of a Kind Project Strengthens Burundi’s Resilience to Climate-induced Disasters
Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners are coming together to take stock of a project launched in 2020 to minimize disaster risks in Burundi. IOM and partners will discuss best practices and lessons learnt to inform similar projects in the future.
The project dubbed “TUBEHONEZA: Strengthening Resilience to Natural Disaster Risks in Burundi” was implemented by IOM in close collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Burundi through the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management.
Burundi is among twenty countries most vulnerable to climate change worldwide. Recurring disasters, combined with the country’s dependence on agricultural production and precarious spatial planning, often devastate the livelihoods of Burundians and is responsible for nearly 90 percent of internal displacements cases in the country.
Consolidating the country’s Disaster Risk Management system through a global, multi-sectoral and community-based approach was at the heart of the nation-wide project aimed at preventing displacement and creating a foundation for sustainable development. This focus is in line with the second overarching objective of the Secretary General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement and contributing to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 global targets.
Burundi now relies on a detailed multi-risk mapping covering five frequent hazards – flooding, earthquakes, torrential rains, strong winds and landslides – available via an innovative online platform and accessible to the general public.
“It is a mapping the country has been waiting for a long time so that the authorities can take evidence-based decisions at national, provincial and communal levels.” Explains Julius Niyongabo, an expert from the Office of Geomatics Centralization of Burundi.
Building on those findings, Burundians can count on reinforced institutional mechanisms aimed at preparing for and responding to a disaster, including through coordination and awareness raising. Notably, 90 communes and 17 provinces have contingency plans freshly elaborated or updated, that were tested with simulation exercises.
Because community members are the best placed to take urgent action and have a sustainable impact on their environment, 133 Communal Committees for Disaster Risk Reduction (CCDRR) – local teams of 13 people – are now trained and equipped to carry out disaster prevention and small-scale mitigation activities, and to respond to disasters in the 50 most-at-risk communes.
“I am 100 percent hopeful that the damage will be less severe in the next rainy season,” shares Aline Nininahazwe, member of Rubomgo’s CCDRR, in Cibitoke province.
Large-scale risk mitigation activities have been completed at 11 sites identified based on vulnerability and risks assessment. The rehabilitation or construction of infrastructures, such as drainage canals, bridges or dams, involved local communities through Cash-for-Work programmes.
“I believe that my work to protect our community from floods and landslides is important. That is why I have been working with others in the hot sun to dig these trenches.” affirms Evelyne Mukantwari, Cash-for-Work participant.
"I would like IOM to develop a new disaster risk reduction project to ensure the long-term future of our achievements, said Police General Anicet Nibaruta, Director General of Civil Protection and Disaster Management and President of the National Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management. He reiterated the Government’s determination to cement such interventions and take further action to tackle the existing challenges in Burundi.
The project was funded by the European Union.
For more information, contact:
Emmanuel Noel, Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Manager Reduction des Risques des Catstrophes at IOM Burundi firstname.lastname@example.org