Gatunguru: a watched pot never boils

Since the catastrophic situation occurred in Gatunguru areas (in Kinama Commune) on 9th February 2014, nothing is done to restore the Gasenyi River. An expert alerts.-By Diane Uwimana

Two of the three nozzles leading the Gasenyi River waters are blocked ©Iwacu

Two of the three nozzles leading the Gasenyi River waters are blocked ©Iwacu

Two of the three nozzles leading the Gasenyi River waters are blocked. At the time where the rainy season comes close, more flooding may occur too. Evariste Sinarinzi, an expert in climatology indicates that a group of experts have paid a visit to that locality to state the origin of the catastrophe: “we have stated that there is a mudslide all around the Gasenyi River and lands have also slid and blocked the stream. At that time, the rain was forced to create other pathways. Exceeded by the height of the water, the latter were multiplied by thousands and the water speed raised big stones. The first stone rose, blocked the evacuation nozzles and the water went over the road by finding itself the way. Then, the situation has remained as such because nothing was done to restore the river to the normal state”, he explains.

Consequently, he continues, within the first rain which will fall, it risks creating more serious problems than the former torrential rain occurred in February 2014: “The path is there and well exposed, there is no need to look for another one. The rain will go through Carama quarter and destroy it!” For him, public institutions and private ones should be aware of the situation and readjust the river to its former normal bed: “it will be done in order to protect people from the danger that should happen during the first rain which will fall in the very near rainy season”. He recalls the recent floods in the North of the capital that caused hundreds of dead and other economic losses, etc.
People living in the locality fear about what could happen once the river is not managed well: “when the rain falls, people are very frightened as they remember the torrential rain that destroyed the area some month ago. People recall that fateful evening where their beloved, children, parents or relatives and their belongings were swept away by the waves of the Gasenyi River”, shouts out a woman met around the Gasenyi River.

“Nothing seems to be done immediately”

At the beginning of the year, the National Assembly voted a budget to repair the river; unfortunately, it wasn’t used as indicated. “The budget was oriented to another sector instead of Gasenyi River because those who were in charge of using this budget did not use it for its necessity,” points out Remy Barampama, a MP from Bujumbura City Council and Member of Environment Commission in the Parliament. The budget was granted to the people from Kayanza who offered fruit trees to be planted for the government’s initiative to support and multiply fruits in the country.
Remy Barampama notes that the National Assembly was shocked by what happened. “The Ministry in Charge of Environment must do its best to use the budget granted because during our budget revision we have found out that it was allotted to another sector.”
The MP mentions that in October 2014, the National Assembly will vote the budget the country will use later next year. He recommends the Ministry to care for it. “Later better than never. Perhaps the cause of the flood wasn’t only torrential rain, but other things. It is important to run a deep research.” Contacted, the Ministry of Water, Environment, Land and Urban Planning didn’t want to give any comment.