It is no longer conflict, but the effects of climate change, that is the main reason people are displaced in the East African country, according to a Save the Children report.
“More than 84 per cent of all IDPs in Burundi have been displaced by natural disasters rather than conflict,” the charity wrote.
It is the rising waters of Africa’s second largest lake, Lake Tanganyika, that has forced people to leave. Farmers tell the organization how catastrophic floods have become increasingly common in recent years.
– This time the flood covered everything, and then it did not sink again, as the mother of three said to Mary Save the Children.
According to the organisation, children are particularly hard hit – about seven percent of climate refugees are children under the age of one. Older children do not have the opportunity to go to school and eat only one meal a day.
“We see how families who previously had stable homes, all the children in school and working parents are now living in tents, unemployed, they have no food, and how children are forced to work for $1 a day to support families says Magi Cordy, in charge of Rwanda and Burundi at Save the Children.
“It seems that the world has forgotten about Burundi and yet the country bears the brunt of global climate change,” she added.