High Level Officials from Government of Burundi and EU Mission in Burundi Visit IOM’s Disaster Risk Projects

Rutana, Burundi - A high level delegation from the Government of Burundi led by Prime Minister Lieutenant General of Police Gervais Ndirakobuca, visited (10/3) disaster risk reduction interventions implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Rutana province.

The government delegation was accompanied by representatives from IOM as well as Claude Bochu, the European Union (EU) ambassador to Burundi. 

The projects are funded by the EU and are implemented by IOM in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Burundi.

Along with risk mapping and capacity building, risk mitigation is one of the three components of the EU project "Tubehoneza - Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in Burundi" aimed at involving communities in disaster risk reduction initiatives as part of efforts to strengthen their resilience and capacity to prevent and mitigate disaster related risks.

The Prime Minister and the EU Ambassador visited risk mitigation interventions on Bugiga hill, Rutana province, and exchanged with the provincial governor on the progress of the project interventions, among others. Earlier, the European Union Ambassador met with the Governor of Rumonge on similar issues.

In Rutana province, a hydro-agricultural dam was rehabilitated and a flood spillway was built in Bugiga hill, enabling 807 rice-growing households to exploit their rice fields and thus build resilience to food insecurity in the area. A bridge was also rehabilitated along the Musasa River in Butambara commune, strengthening the disaster risk resilience of communities on both sides of the river, who will now be able to join forces to better respond to emergencies through improved access to transportation and health centers, while increasing the flow of goods, benefiting the local economy.

"Before the dam was rehabilitated, we had difficulty feeding our children and buying them school supplies, as well as covering other daily needs. The dam helps us a lot in the cultivation of our rice fields and because of its destruction, we spent two years in poverty. But this year we have already started to cultivate rice again, and with the rehabilitation of the dam, I have hope that we will have a good harvest," said Immaculée Toyi, a 43-year-old rice farmer and mother of seven. 

In Rumonge province, the project team worked closely with local authorities to take an integrated approach at the Mugomere school site, with interventions both at the school site, including the construction of a storm drain and renovation of the school's water and sanitation system, and in the sub-basins above it. The school is now protected from the risk of recurrent flooding, especially during the rainy season, and from the risk of waterborne diseases, allowing 1,669 children to attend class safely.  

Ambassador Bochu, "The Tubehoneza project responds effectively to the EU's concerns and priorities for improving the resilience of the Burundian population to the various shocks it faces. I am pleased with the excellent collaboration between IOM, the beneficiary communities and local authorities to put in place risk prevention mechanisms. In view of the positive results of the project, new actions are planned to take over from our programme to support the resilience of populations, financed at a total cost of EUR 121 million and ending in 2023."

IOM's disaster risk mitigation interventions are based on cash-for-work programs implemented with local communities, and similar activities are underway in several other provinces such as Cibitoke, Ngozi and Gitega, while an intervention was completed last year in Bujumbura Mairie.

For more information, please contact :Emmanuel Noel, Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Manager Réduction des Risques de Catastrophes at IOM Burundi
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