BUJUMBURA June 22nd (ABP) – Burundi now has a Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy for the 2018-2025 period and its 2018-2021 Action Plan which was validated on Wednesday June 20, 2018, in Bujumbura, in the presence of all stakeholders.

In opening the workshop, the First Deputy President of the Republic, Mr. Gaston Sindimwo, said that the drawing of the new National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, aligned with Sendai, is Government of Burundi response to the issue of risk prevention and disaster management for strengthening institutional and community resilience to disaster risk. He called on participants to use their expertise and knowledge to improve this planning tool for disaster risk reduction, which was the focus of this validation workshop. The Government will try harder to speed up the process of adoption by the National Assembly of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Bill, to revise the planned budget line for disaster management and to strengthen the monitoring mechanism of disaster risk, he said.

The First Deputy President of the Republic urged Burundi’s partners to support the implementation of this strategy, which aims to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to disasters, through the development of culture and risk governance. The UN system coordinator in Burundi, Garry Conille, said the organization he represents is committed, in collaboration with Burundi’s partners, to supporting the government’s efforts to reduce by ensuring that disaster risk reduction is an integral part of the SDG process. It is thus committed to taking into account both the dimensions of disaster risk reduction, namely development, through support in prevention and recovery, and humanitarian assistance through emergency preparedness and response actions in a systemic way.

The Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management, Police Commissioner Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, said that Burundi regularly suffers repeated natural and human-made disasters. The heavy losses and consequent damage considerably undermine the development efforts of our country, he said, recalling the terrible landslides of Nyaruhongoka, the floods of Gatumba and the overflows of the Mutimbuzi River, which are illustrative examples of this tragedy that our country has experienced in recent months.

To deal with these disasters, the Government of Burundi has set up a national platform for risk prevention and disaster management. Note that the strategy validated on Wednesday June 20, 2018 is an offshoot of previous strategies, and Burundi is among the few countries in the sub-region to have this strategy, according to a participant in the workshop.

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