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Burundi: Combatting flood risk and building resilience

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2024 — A new World Bank-financed project will support flood mitigation and resilience in Bujumbura, combining high-impact investments for flood risk management, flood resilience, and help to improve the country’s climate-resilient urban management.

Burundi is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and is vulnerable to climate-related events. The Burundi Urban Resilience Emergency Project (URP), called locally “IBISAGARA BIRAMA”, has been designed to meet urgent needs to combat flooding in Bujumbura, which is accentuated by frequent risks of flood due to climate change and the recent risk of water increase in Lake Tanganyika. It will finance urgent rehabilitation and dredging of rivers running through the city and provide more permanent protection against flooding from the lake and rivers to areas that are dense in economic activity and vulnerable populations. It will also provide protection for key infrastructure to prevent interruptions to the water supply of the city.

"The project came at the right time considering the increase of urban flooding in Burundi due to climate change. This is impacting large parts of the population and resulting in foregone economic growth every year. The project will support key institutions to improve urban management with the objective of reducing flood risk while providing better early warnings and improving the capacity of government institutions and communities to respond to disasters,” says Hawa Wagué, World Bank Country Manager for Burundi.

With $113 million in funding (with a $60 million IDA* grant and $53 million from the Crisis Response Window Plus) the project aims to respond to urban flooding problems in Bujumbura and lay the groundwork for provision of more climate-resilient urban services in Burundi. Efforts will focus on emergency measures for flood response, climate-resilient infrastructure interventions to reduce flood risk, flood early warning systems, and the elaboration of risk-informed land-use plans. The project is expected to benefit the population of Bujumbura, including more than 200,000 people directly affected by the ongoing flood emergency.

The project will finance both traditional infrastructure and green solutions. The emergency interventions will cover the whole city while the majority of investments will be targeted in the most affected catchment areas in Bujumbura, selected based on the ability to address the flood risks of today and assure long-term outcomes and alignment with social equity considerations that align with wider development plans. All construction and rehabilitation activities will ensure that the built infrastructure is resilient to future climate shocks by applying build-back-better principles.


* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s low-income countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for its 75 client countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Since 1960, IDA has provided $552 billion to 115 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $36 billion over the last three years (FY21-FY23), with about 75% going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks



In Bujumbura
Ange Dany Gakunzi
+257 76 304 000
In Washington
Catherine Sear
(202) 473-4989


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