Burundi

Where we work

• Makamba
• Cibitoke
• Rumonge

ZOA Burundi works with conflict and natural disaster affected populations. We target especially vulnerable farmer households, youth and primary schools.

We work in the following sectors:

  • Food security & Livelihoods
  • WASH
  • Peacebuilding & Landrights

What we do in Burundi

Burundi is experiencing a chronic crisis. The political situation remains tense, with a devastating impact on the economy. Climate change results in less predictable agricultural seasons, and only half of the population has access to a sustainable source of drinking water. High population density and Burundi’s dependence on subsistence farming causes scarcity of land and triggers land conflicts, exacerbated by a large numbers of returned Burundian refugees from neighbouring countries. Through our integrated approach, we support vulnerable people who are struggling to survive.

Decreasing conflict through registration of land rights

Since 2014, ZOA implements land certification projects in Makamba province. Our objective is to secure land ownership and reduce the number of conflicts arising around land. The projects are funded by the Dutch Embassy and USAID and pay special attention to women’s land rights, as they are the backbone of households and farms. Since land conflicts are a severe threat to insecurity in Burundi, ZOA trains local village structures Commissions de Reconnaissance Collinaire (CRCs) in land conflict mediation. These CRCS are specifically mandated by Burundian law to resolve disputes between landowners. ZOA has also established five district cadastre offices, through which around 92.000 land parcels were registered between 2014 and 2019.

Improving food security and livelihoods

Since 2016, ZOA trained around 45.000 households in 134 villages in Cibitoke, Makamba, Muyinga (through local partner RBU2000+) and Rumonge provinces to increase the agricultural production through the PIP approach. These activities were carried out in a consortium with IFDC, Alterra, and Oxfam. The PIP-approach is based on stirring farmers’ intrinsic motivation and triggers a mentality change. Farmers are challenged to visualize their ideas about the change they would like to see in their lives and households in three to five years time. They learn how to create goals and work towards them.

Our approach is stirring farmers’ intrinsic motivation to realize their household’s vision.

A detailed planification of the household’s activities, income and expenditures is made involving all household members. To support their livelihood, village savings and loans committees (VSLAs) were formed as well. To date, around 900 VSLA’s are active and 28 villages have also been supported to develop and implement their own village development plan.

Local peace committees

On village level peace committees have been created and trained to make conflict mediation accessible for the most vulnerable. These peace committees represent different social groups and do not ask anything in return for their services. Their approach is to always look for reconciliation between different parties in conflict, so that no grievances remain.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Only 52% of the Burundian population has access to a sustainable source of clean drinking water. Combined with inadequate access to sanitary facilities and limited knowledge on good hygienic practices, cholera is a recurring problem in Burundi. ZOA targets schools, health centres, and remote communities. We provide them with water and sanitation, and strengthen their knowledge about good hygiene practices. Through different projects, we rehabilitated water springs, drilled boreholes, constructed latrine blocks and established hygiene clubs at primary schools.

Donors and partners

With funding from

USAID, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ZOA Business Ambassadors and ZOA the Netherlands.

In cooperation with

MIPAREC, Réseau Burundi 2000+, OAP, ADISCO, Alterra (Wageningen University) and the  International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC).