Population Movement – Mtendeli refugee camp, road to the camp
In late April 2015, pre-election violence erupted in Burundi, resulting in more than 235,000 people fleeing to neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The majority (126,702) are choosing to settle in Tanzania which continues to see a daily influx of people seeking refugee status; on average, 240 people per day, according to UNHCR. The infrastructure and resources in Tanzania are insufficient to accommodate the refugees' needs.
Currently, Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania hosts about 66,000 refugees from DRC, and as of 25 January 2016, 84,741 Burundian refugees have been registered there (UNHCR). The camp, built in 1997 to host 50,000 people, struggles to accommodate the new arrivals. The risk of hygiene-related diseases (cholera, infections, etc.) remains very high due to limited access to shelter, latrines, water, and essential medical care. Despite the improved access to health services, overall support services remain inadequate for the current and growing population in Nyarugusu camp.
The Government of Tanzania identified locations for new camps to address overcrowding in the Nyarugusu camp. UNCHR requested the Tanzania Red Cross Society to expand its operations to the new Mtendeli camp.
In January 2016, the IFRC launched a revised Emergency Appeal to support the Tanzania Red Cross Society to deliver assistance and support to 250,000 refugees (increased from 90,000 refugees) in the Mtendeli and Nyarugusu camps. It also extends the implementation timeframe to 31 July 2016.
TRCS has been involved in refugee care in multiple camps in northwestern Tanzania since 1994. With the exception of Nyarugusu camp, camps along the northwest corridor had been gradually closing as steady progress was made to repatriate refugees to their countries of origin. TRCS currently provides comprehensive health services to over 120,000 Congolese and Burundian refugees hosted in Nyarugusu camp as well as Tanzanians residing within the host communities through the Emergency Assistance to Refugees in Tanzania project.
00:00 – 1:47 Driving along road to Mtendeli refugee camp - people walking along the roads and camp buildings in the background.