Funding keeps water work flowing in Burundi

from CORD
Published on 29 Jan 2013 View Original

Since 2008 we have helped communities construct over 550 springs which has had a huge impact. But still, nationally, only 55% of people in Burundi have access to clean water.

New funding from UK Aid, along with generous donations from our UK supporters, will see the work continue over the next three years and provide sustainable and improved access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for 139,000 people.

Burundi suffered widespread destruction due to civil war between 1993 and 2005. Today, the country's infrastructure is still poor and in the most remote areas only 3% of people have access to clean drinking water (INEA, 2007). In other areas where we will be working, access is only 50%. Consequently one in four children dies from diarrhoeal diseases caused by lack of clean water. Community leader Gaston Kaboya says the situation is dire with some schools having more than 100 pupils per latrine, and even those are often not suitable, particularly for girls, due to lack of privacy or remote location.

Over the next three years six water gravity schemes will navigate the hilly terrain to transport water to another 400 new or repaired springs. Local people will be trained to maintain the springs and take responsibility for resolving any problems if they arise in the future. Without local ownership, facilities can often fall into disrepair.

Materials to build 6,000 enclosed and well sited pit latrines will mean that women and girls especially will be less vulnerable to attack, no longer having to use unsuitable facilities or defecate in the open. Alongside the building work, community-led hygiene education will be run in collaboration with local water authorities. The World Bank recently stated that hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention.