From El Niño to La Niña

"June to September period will know an unprecedented drought according to the weather forecast." The head of the meteorological Department to the Geographical Institute of Burundi (IGEBU), Godefroy NSHIMIRIMANA, announced it during workshop on El Niño post impact assessment and La Niña weather forecast. This workshop was held on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Bujumbura.

Unlike El Niño climate phenomenon that causes heavy rainfall, La Niña causes drought which generates temperatures that are above the normal ones. In the case of Burundi, the drought will extend until February 2017, said NSHIMIRIMANA.

According to Vénérand Nzigamasabo, the Programmes Manager for the Burundi Red Cross, the casualties caused by the El Niño phenomenon from September 2015 to May 2016 are enormous. He then called for a more effective coordination between humanitarian actors gathered in the national platform for disaster risk management for a an efficient preparedness and response to this new climate phenomenon.

To cope with all kinds of disasters, the Burundi Red Cross has already set up a free hotline "109" active 24h / 24. It is accessible to population in need of assistance. The hotline, indeed,  aims at collecting and providing information on all sectors, that of disaster risk management included. The identified needs are referred to the relevant humanitarian actor for a follow up.

One of the recommendations made during the workshop is that all humanitarian actors working in Burundi should coordinate themselves to develop a recovery plan. 

This workshop is a first official warning on the La Niña climate phenomenon in Burundi.