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A house burnt to ashes in Northern Bujumbura

Fire exploded while three children were inside the house with their grandmother and housemaid. PhotoFile

In the night of February 6,2024 fire erupted and exponentially burnt a local house in Mirango quarter in Bujumbura, the economical capital of Burundi.

Fire exploded while three children were inside the house with their grandmother and housemaid.

“Since 7pm we had blackout”, said Eric Manirakiza, a tenant of the burnt house.

Eric supposes that fire would have been erupted resulting from the recurrent power cut supplied by the national state-owned utility, REGIDESO, the main operator of distribution infrastructure.

“Power had returned back twice and after it was quickly cut. Around 10p.m, power came back and rapidly disappeared as it was before.

The grandmother and kids who were in the same place, saw the smoke stemming from the sockets where a mobile phone was charging and avacuated immediately”, said Eric.

Any human loss was reported but the house materials and assets got burnt.

The two fire engines arrived after 40 minutes, unfortunately they unsuccessfully rescued anything. They quenched the fire to prevent it from spilling over.

Eric Manirakiza, calls for humanitarian aid after he lost everything.

He also requests for the national state-owned utility REGIDESO to launch an independent investigation aiming to trace the root cause of the fire.

“Last year the same scene happened in a house located in Mirango II, street 13, which faced conflagration in the same manner as the latest one.

Since the beginning of this year, Bujumbura zones have been experiencing regular power outage, a shared issue impacting various activities to falter.

“I am a hairdresser, I depend upon my job to get income to survive, so when such power cut occurs, we don’t get money for daily basic needs”, said Musani, a hairdresser met at Cibitoke.

Responding to MPs questions, Ibrahim Uwizeye, the Minister of hydraulics, Energy and Mines in Burundi said that among three electricity-supplying machines located in Rusumo Falls, one of them was critically damaged which triggered low electricity capacity.

“when the machine is repaired, the blackout will end”, said the minister.

Ibrahim ensures that Kabu16 dam located in Cibitoke province and Jiji Mulembwe dam both under construction, once finalized, the power supply will increase at satisfactory level.

Burundi is ranked among the world’s least electrified in the world, with only about 10.23%, electricity access in 2021.

Moïse Ndayiragije
Moïse Ndayiragije
Moise Ndayiragije, journalist, Visual presenter, Environmental Advocate. He has been covering social ground based stories. He stretches from climate change to Biodiversity loss and social linkages. He covers news about Burundi, Great Lakes, and Africa.


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