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Tearfund emergency response after floods in Burundi

Tearfund’s response has helped people in Burundi have food and shelter after flooding in the midst of a growing crisis.

Written by Diane Igirimbabazi | 02 May 2024

Two women and a man happily hold up colourful blankets they received as part of support after flooding destroyed people's homes and belongings in Burundi.

People who lost their belongings receive support from Tearfund and other partners. Credit: Target/Tearfund

On the night of 6 to 7 January 2024, devastating floods caused by heavy rains hit several areas in the Bubanza region of Burundi, leaving behind a trail of destroyed houses, infrastructure and fields, and affecting the livelihoods of the local population.

According to the local administration, two people were injured, 956 homes were destroyed and a further 3,916 were flooded. Bridges, roads and schools were damaged or destroyed, and plantations of crops were flooded. About 26,000 people from 4,900 households were affected by the crisis.

Consortium of care

Tearfund, in consortium with Christian Aid and Concern Worldwide, along with local partners Help Channel Burundi (HCB) and the National Council of Churches of Burundi (CNEB), responded to the needs of flood victims with funding from the Start Fund (£300,000) and Tearfund UK’s Crisis Response Fund (£20,000).

15,704 people from 2,327 households received non-food items, such as blankets, tents and jerry cans (to hold clean water), as well as shelter, cash assistance and protection and dignity kits.

Food, shelter and protection

Through this support, people who had been affected by the floods were able to buy nutritious food and other essentials they needed. They also received items to improve their living conditions, wellbeing and dignity – particularly for women and girls.

We also helped raise awareness in the community about disaster risk reduction. This included highlighting things like the need for the protection of the most vulnerable people, how to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, and the prevention of cholera and other pandemics. Through community engagement, we could contribute to the sustainable recovery and preparedness of the community for future crises.

Restoring hope for flood victims

One of the main differences the response brought was to restore hope among the victims of the flooding and to protect their dignity. We also helped in providing support for host families who had taken in many of those displaced by the disaster.

Rows of white buckets (useful for carrying clean water) stand ready to be distributed amongst people who have lost belongings because of the floods in Burundi. Inside the buckets are various essential items, including brightly-coloured blankets.

Items ready to be distributed to people who have lost their belongings because of the flooding in Bubanza, Burundi. Credit: Target/Tearfund

Personal stories from people affected by the Burundi floods


‘My name is Juliette*. I am 32 years old and I am disabled. I live with my mother who is very old. On the night of 6 to 7 of January, our house was destroyed and all our belongings were taken by rainwater. It was very hard for me and my mother to be evacuated because of my disability and her age. Thank God that our neighbours rushed to help us and that they sheltered us until today. I thank you for this envelope [of money] and the tent which will help us in the rehabilitation of our house, and also for the kits which will be useful to us when we return to our house.’


‘My name is Nyabenda*. I am 63 years old. Because of the floods, my family ended up in poverty. My house was destroyed and I haven’t been able to repair it, that is why I am so happy for the aid that I have just received. They have given me a bucket, they have given me money. This money will help me to buy wood to repair my house. I thank these organisations which take care of us and assist us during these hard times. May they live long.’

Flooding in Kenya, Burundi and the wider region

These floods are part of the effects of an ongoing climate disaster that Burundi and neighbouring countries are facing. Hundreds of thousands of people across the region have been affected, with many forced to leave their homes.

Please pray with us for those we have been able to help and for those who still need support. If you would like to give to ensure that we are able to continue to respond in situations like this around the world, please do so here.

*Names have been changed for protection.

Pray for Burundi

    • We thank God for his provision that helped us and our partners reach and assist 2,327 households in dire need.
    • We thank God for renewed hope, comfort and resilience for the community of Gihanga.
    • Please continue to pray for people affected by climate change, as heavy rains and floods continue to cause disaster across the country.

Written by

Written by  Diane Igirimbabazi

Diane Igirimbabazi is Tearfund’s Regional Communication Officer for East and Central Africa.

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