Overcrowding and a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities have led to cholera among the estimated 40,000 Burundian refugees including in the Tanzanian border town of Kagunga.
Already 20 cases of cholera have been confirmed in the Kagunga and Nyarugusu refugee camps, where new arrivals are being received. The UN reports that 1057 cases of acute watery diarrhea have been recorded at Kagunga, where refugees wait for boat transportation to the camp, Lake Tanganyika Stadium and Nyarugusu camp.
Clean water, medical care and proper sanitation are urgently needed. Oxfam is working with local partner TWESA to fix tap stands at Kagunga beach, as well as to build additional latrines to reduce the risk of disease spreading among the refugee population. Oxfam will also begin work at Nyarugusu, increasing clean water supply and building emergency latrines to cope with the huge numbers.
Approximately 22,000 refugees have been transported from Kagunga to Nyarugusu camp, where they are being temporarily housed in schools and churches, as aid agencies source supplies needed to build appropriate shelter.
Medical facilities are overstretched by the number of sick people. Early and rapid response is essential in containing the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.