April 27, 2024

No Electricity in MUTUMBA, BURUNDI

Sr. M. Lisette Seitzer

A landslide leaves 2,485 people homeless

On Friday afternoon, April 19, 2024, the ground shifted under the hill south of Mutumba, along the Kirassa River, where our hydroelectric station is located. The people fled their houses to find  safety.  At dusk there was a great landslide that cost the life of a child and 2,485 people lost all their belongings. Three hundred and seventy-five houses were destroyed and 500 hectares of cultivated land plunged into the abyss. Twelve new houses from the Kirassa-Project (the houses on the picture with blue roofs) were also completely destroyed.

The turbine is buried and cannot be used

The hill on the south side of the Kirassa River avalanched and blocked the entire Kirassa River. The soil from the hill completely buried our hydraulic turbine and the first pylon of the electric line, simply covering them. There is now a hill (arrow) where the turbine used to be, and nothing can be seen of the turbine. The road to the turbine is no longer usable (photo below). Later, the river took a different path again.

Since 1978, the turbine supplied us with electricity—not only us sisters but the entire hill community, all schools, the health center, craft studio, parish, families, houses.

New ways of supplying electricity are being sought

We are considering now how to proceed. We have been trying for a long time to get a connection from the state to the remote power station in Kabezi. We will make a new application. However, as the country does not have enough electricity and we keep experiencing loss of power even in Bujumbura, this is not a safe solution either. We are grateful that on the day of the landslide we procured diesel fuel for the emergency generator and can at least use the most necessary equipment in the medical center.

Because diesel fuel and gasoline is very difficult to obtain in the country, in the long term, we cannot cover our electricity requirements with one generator. We will now be looking for solar cells.

The people in our surroundings are poor and many have lost everything. They seek a wide range of help from us. Above all, we must ensure that our health center can continue to function and help people in need.

Information: Medical Center, Burundi

Address for Direct Help:

Mission Center of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Berg Schönstatt 6
56179 Vallendar

Tel.: (0261) 64 04-311
E-Mail: missionszentrale@s-ms.org

Bankverbindung: LIGA Bank eG
IBAN: DE10 7509 0300 0000 058920