Burundi refugees in Tanzania receive assistance from the LWF

Burundians arrive at the congested Tanzania port of Kagunga. Photo:LWF Burundi
Burundians arrive at the congested Tanzania port of Kagunga. Photo:LWF Burundi

Need for immediate support to overcrowded camps

KIGOMA, Tanzania/GENEVA, 29 May 2015 As the situation in Burundi deteriorates progressively, Burundians continue to leave the country in droves. The Lutheran World Federation is on the ground providing assistance and urgently needs support to continue efforts.

Since mid-April, nearly 50,000 people have made the journey to Tanzania, with most heading to camps inland from Lake Tanganyika's port of Kagunga, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. Others have fled to Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Emergency teams from LWF and partner Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (TCRS) are working in Kasulu and Nyarugusu refugee camps in Tanzania where more than 43,000 Burundian Refugees have been relocated from Kagunga, in the past 14 days after a cholera outbreak hitting more than 3000 people.

The LWF and TCRS have been distributing household goods, such as aluminium bowls, cooking pots, hand axes, machetes, plastic sheeting, plastic buckets, baby blankets, used clothing, mosquito nets and quilts. In addition, the team is providing basic water, sanitation and hygiene amenities to refugees.

The situation in Nyarugusu is dire. The camp’s capacity was designed for 50,000 persons but so far 90,000 have reached the camp.

A contingency plan to extend the refugee camp and to construct a new location 3km away in Migunga Hills is under review, considering the fact that violence continues in Bujumbura and other parts of the country.

More assistance is needed as boatloads of people continue to arrive in Tanzania each day. The refugees urgently need clean drinking water, latrines, shelter and tracing procedures in order for children to be re-united with families.


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