[ACNS Digest] Intensive heavy rains have forced hundreds of families to leave their homes in Gatumba, a district of western Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. The Anglican Church in the region has been working to alleviate the suffering with one priest sheltering 70 people who were forced from their homes.
“Victims, especially children and other vulnerable people, also face the threat of disease caused by poor sanitation and pollution”, the Anglican Church of Burundi reported on its Facebook page. “For those people who have been affected emergency help is needed urgently not only to prevent an epidemic breaking out but also to provide appropriate shelter, food and clothing.”
Situated along the shore of Lake Tanganyika, Gatumba is particularly vulnerable to flooding when water levels of the lake rises and the Rusizi River floods during prolonged rains.
“Much damage has been caused mainly affecting houses and crops while in other localities the rain has damaged roads,” the Church said. “Some people use boats to access their houses where there was normally a street. Some schools and churches have had to close until the water recedes and buildings dry out.
“Families whose houses have been flooded are finding shelter in churches that remain unaffected and on building sites. Some are sleeping alongside the main road that joins Bujumbura to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Victims say that they have lost all their belongings except some clothes.”