Burundi is the second most densely populated country in Africa and one of the five poorest countries in the world with almost 65% of the population living below the poverty line. The country’s health situation is also cause for concern: there are still many diseases, some of which are transmissible, and parasites due to the lack of drinking water and safe hygiene standards.
Health care is a luxury: only 1% of private workers and those in the formal public sector have health care insurance. The rest of the population has to pay for medical treatment.
Safe drinking water is therefore essential for good health, but access to safe water sources remains difficult and inaccessible for much of the population.
The use of ecological and controlled latrines greatly help to alleviate the situation, but so far they are beyond the reach of most of the people in Ruyigi who still use traditional latrines and open pits.
The Project in Ruyigi includes an extension of the drinking water network to all communities in the area and in the Nombe, Nyarunazi and Kigamba/Rubaragaza hills, and the refurbishment of the existing network in Karaba-Misugi-Kigamba.
Health and hygiene will be addressed both through the experimental installation of 40 ecological latrines (and a further 2 at Nombe primary school), and through training courses on proper personal hygiene and on maintaining hygiene where people live. Finally, in order to address the challenges of access to health care, the project will raise awareness and help beneficiaries to set themselves up as a community health organisation, or join existing community health organisations, to be able to respond to the current difficulties in accessing health care. As in all AMU projects, the involvement of the local community is crucial for the implementation, management and maintenance of the infrastructure.
As in the past, the facilities will be entrusted to the care of the citizens once they have been fully trained. The project “Water, source of life and development in Ruyigi”, is another important part of the work AMU and CASOBU have been doing for over ten years to accompany local communities in their development path, always putting the needs of the community and reciprocity between all those involved in the project in the first place.