Mahama Refugee Camp: One Year On

“Mahama today is a community.”

As of April 2016, Mahama camp has been open for one year—in which it already became the largest refugee camp in Rwanda.

Home to over 50,000 Burundian refugees, Mahama has surpassed the five other camps in this small country which are hosting over 81,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mahama is already bigger than the two largest Congolese camps—Kiziba hosting 17,300 and Kigeme home to 19,000—combined.

81,540 Burundian refugees live in Rwanda

61.6% live in Mahama camp

9,500 Burundian refugees fled violence related to the presidential elections between 1 and 22 April 2016

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Refugees are people with marketable skills and assets, who have a strong motivation to build their own livelihoods.


Governments normally guarantee the basic human rights and physical security of their citizens. But when people become refugees, this safety net disappears.