Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

NRC in Tanzania

NRC started activities in the Kigoma region of Tanzania in 2016 to assist Burundian refugees with education, shelter, water and sanitation and hygiene.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2023.


Humanitarian overview

Tanzania currently hosts 254,294 refugees (65 per cent from Burundi and 35 per cent from DR Congo).

Humanitarian organisations struggle to provide basic services including drinking water, education, shelter and social services due to limited funding. The introduction of more stringent administrative instructions and policies in the camps has reduced refugees’ opportunities for protection, livelihoods and self-reliance, leaving them completely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

NRC advocates maintaining the voluntary return principles of an informed decision and a dignified return to safe areas while supporting social cohesion and sustainable return at the community level.

  • 1,803
    people benefited from our education programme in 2023
  • 23,263
    people benefited from our shelter programme
  • 11,354
    people benefited from our ICLA programme
  • 219,498
    people benefited from our WASH programme


NRC's operation

Following the civil war that broke out in Burundi in 2015, NRC started operations in Tanzania to support people living in Mtendeli and Nduta refugee camps close to the Burundian border.

In May 2017, we expanded operations to the Nyarugusu camp. Later in January 2020, NRC became the WASH, shelter and infrastructure lead agency in all three camps under UNHCR. In 2021, we started the implementation of an information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA) programme and expanded our education programme.

NRC EducationEducation

The situation in the education sector is disastrous. Education quality suffers due to insufficient classrooms, disrepair, crowded classes, scarce materials, untrained teachers, turnover, and limited parental involvement. Limited access to accelerated education programmes leaves many vulnerable children at risk of street life, early marriage, child labour, pregnancies, and various child protection issues, as only a few grades are covered. Our intervention includes:

  • accelerated education programmes (AEP)
  • vocational training including basic education, life skills and entrepreneurship skills for youth
  • quality training for teachers
  • the establishment of safe learning spaces for children and youth
  • nurseries for young mothers to make it easier for them to study
  • advocacy for safe temporary learning spaces to encourage girls and youth to study
  • promotion and support for girls’ education in Nyarugusu refugee camp

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

Lack of shelter has been identified as one of the main needs in the camps. Over 60 per cent of residents live in emergency shelters and tents that are in poor condition. We provide shelter and maintain infrastructure in Nduta and Nyarugusu camps, where our intervention includes:

  • construction, maintenance and upgrade of transitional shelters
  • providing emergency shelter facilities
  • distributing and erecting pre-fabricated refugee housing units
  • developing more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly shelter solutions
  • maintaining access roads and bridges in the camp
  • constructing permanent building facilities such as schools, offices and police stations
  • constructing permanent shelters for people with specific needs in the host communities

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)

In crowded camps, it is essential that people have access to sufficient safe drinking water, proper sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices to prevent diseases. We work with UNHCR in Nduta and Nyarugusu camps as the WASH lead agency, providing support within the camps and host communities for different activities related to safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Our intervention includes:

  • selecting, designing and operating appropriate water supply systems including source selection, abstraction, storage, treatment and distribution of new systems and/or the repair/rehabilitation of old systems
  • working with refugee communities to select and design the most appropriate form of sanitation system, taking full account of local conditions, resources, customs and cultural norms
  • encouraging the adoption of good hygiene practices in collaboration with other actors, to select and design suitable hygiene promotion strategies
  • providing basic hygiene material support to the affected communities through organising, educating, and distributing appropriate WASH kits

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

In a bid to enhance protection, increase access to basic services, and strengthen the self-protective capabilities of people of concern, we started the ICLA programme in Tanzania in the last quarter of 2018. Through ICLA, NRC supports refugees and asylum seekers in claiming their children’s rights through birth registration and acquiring birth certificates in the camps and host communities.

About NRC in Tanzania

International staff
Areas of operation
Kigoma region
National staff


Country Director

Sumananjali Mohanty


+254 710 604 918