Tanzania: Burundi refugees flood into Kagunga and Kigoma

  • Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    With an estimated 50,000 people in Kagunga, the main priority is to ease the congestion by transferring the refugees to Nyarugusu refugee camp in Kigoma where assistance can be more readily provided. The refugees are crowded at the shores waiting for their turn to be transported to Kigoma, a journey of three hours.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Refugees on the shores of Kagunga climb into a boat with their few belongings. With no docking area at Kagunga, the boats are used to transfer people from the shore to the waiting ship.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Women and children are ferried in a separate boat and are then located in a different area of the ship from the men. It is a difficult task boarding the vessel in the swell of Lake Tanganyika’s waters. However, trained lifesavers in each boat ensure that everyone arrives safely in Kigoma.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kagunga, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    A section of one of the two ships ferrying refugees to Kigoma. Each ship carries about 600 people per trip and makes two journeys a day, helping to ease the congestion at Kagunga. On board, medical personnel cater for any refugees who may need treatment while in transit.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    A small girl arrives at Kigoma. Most people hold on to the few possessions they managed to take with them as they fled from Burundi.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    On arrival at Kigoma, families are joyful and fill the air with songs as they disembark from the ship. They will soon board the buses that will take them to the transit point at Lake Tanganyika stadium where food, medical treatment and other humanitarian services await them.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    A security officer screens the refugees shortly after their arrival from Kagunga. Security screening is mandatory to ensure the safety of both the refugees and the residents of Kigoma.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Whenever situations of violence occur, women and children bare the biggest brunt. There are many unaccompanied children in Kagunga, probably separated from their families as they fled. The ICRC in collaboration with the Tanzania Red Cross is helping to reunite families who become separated, as well as enabling them to get in touch with their relatives anywhere in the world through the phone call service at Nyarugusu refugee camp.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Male refugees wait for the security screening process to begin. The red tapes on their hands indicate that they have been registered by the UNHCR.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    As some of the refugees arriving from Kagunga are very weak, medical personnel are on standby with an ambulance to receive them and ensure their safe transportation to Lake Tanganyika stadium, where they can be treated for illness or injury.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Women and children board one of several buses hired by the UNHCR to take them from Kigoma to Lake Tanganyika stadium.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    A child eats his first meal at Lake Tanganyika stadium after arriving from Kagunga the previous night. The stadium acts as the transit point to facilitate screening of all the refugees before their relocation to Nyarugusu refugee camp.
    CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/L. Kamau
  • Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
    Fifty Tanzania Red Cross volunteers have been trained to provide first aid in Kagunga and at the transit centre at Lake Tanganyika stadium. Here they are preparing to evacuate a patient from the transit centre.
    Kamau, Kigoma, Tanzania, 17 May 2015
21 May 2015

Following the pre-election tension in Burundi, Burundian nationals began fleeing to Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To date, the UNHCR has put the number of refugees who have sought asylum in neighbouring countries at over 112,000, of which those fleeing to Tanzania number over 70,000.

In Tanzania the humanitarian situation in Kagunga and Kigoma is dire, with some 50,000 refugees awaiting transportation to Nyarugusu refugee camp. The ICRC is working closely with the Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) on the humanitarian situation in Kagunga and at Nyarugusu refugee camp. Services such as restoring contact with separated family members (restoring family links) are already being provided at Nyarugusu for the new arrivals, while the TRCS is providing first aid in Kagunga and at the transit point at Lake Tanganyika stadium. Red Cross volunteers are also focusing on hygiene with the aim of containing the cholera outbreak.

 

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