A follow-up visit to the achievements of Inades-Formation Burundi within the framework of the project “Transition to a Peasant Agroecology for Food Sovereignty”, TAPSA, was carried out in the Kigoma hills of Bugabira and Nyemera, NTEGA Commune and Kirundo Province ( North of the country) on November 12, 2021 by the Governor of Kirundo Province accompanied by the local administrators of Bugabira and Ntega communes with the team of Inades-Formation Burundi, the organizer of the visit.

The Governor of Kirundo, Mr. Albert HATUNGIMANA calls upon the administrators, the heads of the zones, the elected hill officials and the technical services to appropriate the achievements of Inades-Formation Burundi in order to perpetuate them. These achievements are located in the buffer zones of Nagitamo, Mwungere and Gacamirinda lakes. These lakes are protected for 50 m around them by trees, anti-erosion ditches reinforced with fixation grasses installed on the hills above them and a canal separating the buffer zone (50 m strip) of the lakes from third party properties. The lake farmers claim that fish production and water quality in the protected lakes have improved as a result of Inades-Formation Burundi’s achievements.

The Governor of Kirundo Province calls on the local administration to perpetuate the achievements of Inades-Formation Burundi

The objective of the visit was to see the achievements of Inades-Formation Burundi which are capitalizable and in line with the priorities of the Government including the project “Ewe Burundi urambaye” and the challenge of His Excellency the President of the Republic “Umunwa wose uronke ico ufungura; Umufuko wose uronke amafaranga.

At the Kigoma hill in the Bugabira commune, the visit focused on the work in progress to build anti-erosion ditches over a linear length of 80 km. The work of digging and planting of fixation grass is at 80%. It should be remembered that the approach adopted by the organization to carry out this type of work is a watershed community approach. The producers grouped in Community Base Organizations (CBO) contribute 40% and the project 60%.

The Governor of Kirundo province supports the community-hill approach adopted by Inades-Formation Burundi because it facilitates the direct and visible identification of results. He called on other speakers to do the same. He recommends to the municipal agronomist to coordinate the interveners in order to avoid duplication and the recovery of the results of the other. If Inades-Formation Burundi is already working with a given target group, another worker who leads almost similar activities must choose his own target group.

A view from afar of a Kigoma hill watershed being developed by Inades-Formation Burundi

At the bottom of the same Kigoma hill; Lake Nagitamo was also visited. The 50 m buffer zone is protected by umurera and grevillea trees planted and maintained by the community supervised by Inades-Formation Burundi in the framework of its projects. The provincial authority on the ground is satisfied with the way the lake is protected and appreciates the work done by Inades-Formation Burundi in close collaboration with the local administration, the security agents, the technical services and the accompanied riverside community.

Exchanges of participants on the actions carried out by Inades-Formation Burundi to protect Lake Nagitam

The lake is managed by two fishermen’s cooperatives and the local administration. When a decrease in fish is observed, a pause is observed and the lake is closed for 2 weeks to promote the replenishment of the fish stock to be caught. It was found that the buffer zone of Lake Nagitamo is respected and the general use of appropriate fishing tools is de rigueur. Isolated cases of fishermen using inappropriate nets are denounced and brought to justice. The Governor of Kirundo affirms that he will make every effort to discourage such abuses. Anyone who does not respect the environment in accordance with the law in force in Burundi will be severely punished, he added. He promised to provide fishermen with a motorized dugout canoe in order to improve the fishing activity and the security situation on Lake Nagitamo. This is all the more important as fishermen currently use small, locally-made pirogues with very limited capacities.

Discussion on the limits of artisanal fishing practiced by the population living around Lake Nagitam

The same visit was made to Nyemera hill in Ntega commune on Lake Mwungere. The local administrators and the accompanying members of the OCBs warmly welcomed the provincial authority. The representative of the OCBs on the Nyemera and Mariza hills summarized the achievements of protecting the lake from the buffer zone to the hills overlooking it through the support of Inades-Formation Burundi through the TAPSA project. The current digging of the anti-erosion ditches will be completed during the next short dry season. It is planned a linear length of 50 km and the planting of fixing grasses.

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Exchanges and appreciation of the achievements of lake protection by the OCBs

The governor also appreciated the way in which the lake is protected and he called on the population of the two hills and the administrators to take ownership of the results for their perpetuation. He recommended that they continue the cleaning of the anti-erosion ditches and the replanting of fixation grasses as well as the planting of trees around the lakes to fill the empty spaces.

Inades-Formation Burundi should capitalize on the results achieved in the protection of lakes and their watersheds to inform partners interested in collaboration. The governor asked Inades-Formation Burundi to also protect Lake Narungazi which occupies the same wetland as Lake Mwungere.

The initiative of Inades-Formation to build the hangar of the Kigoma cooperative for the storage of production under the TAPSA project was recognized by the governor. He calls on the leaders of the cooperative to develop projects for fundraising for self-promotion. In view of his achievements, he promised to put the Kigoma cooperative on the list of cooperatives in the province which should benefit from the funding. The cooperative must present a salable business plan.

The hangar of the Kigoma cooperative for the storage of production

 

As a prospect, the governor plans to mobilize the partners to develop tourist sites on the protected lakes. To increase visibility and avoid the recovery of Inades-Formation Burundi’s results, the governor grants permission to install a sign indicating the protected area, the activities carried out and any information deemed necessary. The municipality, in collaboration with the inhabitants of the hill concerned, must develop a road that leads to the lake for greater accessibility and create a place upstream of the lake to do laundry in order to limit pollution of the lake water.

Let’s perpetuate the results of our projects in collaboration with the local administration !!!

Communication services Inades-Formation Burundi

Inades-Formation Burundi, in order to increase rice production in the developed marshes, has introduced the technique of “Intensive Rice Growing System (IRS)” in the 3 rice cooperatives it supports in Maramvya in the commune of Mutimbuzi in the west of the country, and in Kabo and Kibaba in the commune of Nyanza-lac in the south of the country. One hundred and twenty (120) rice growers, members of these 3 rice cooperatives, have been trained in the SRI technique.

After the theoretical and practical training, held in December 2018 and 2019, the trained rice farmers set up control plots of about 14.5 ha in the three marshlands (Kibaba, Kabo and Maramvya). These control plots, cultivated using the SRI technique, were set up near another field cultivated without applying this method, in order to allow comparison between yields.

Theoretical training

While the average rice yield per hectare without SRI was less than 4 tons per hectare depending on the locality, the average rice yield obtained with the SRI technique was 6.5 tons per hectare. The average yield of rice obtained with the SRI technique was 6.5 tons per hectare. SRI promotes the physiological potential of rice, which can develop its capacity to form a large number of tillers. Rice production thus doubled or even tripled in terms of tonnage per hectare in the 3 rice cooperatives of Maramvya, Nyanza-lac and Kabo during the B 2018 and B 2019 growing seasons. The production obtained has thus made it possible to recoup the high investments of the hydro-agricultural works carried out in the project’s areas of action.

In view of the good results obtained during the first trials of the SRI, the number of members of the cooperatives has continued to grow, and the number of rice growers who have adopted the SRI has increased from 165 to 587.

Transplanted plot

Definite advantages for rice farmers

With the SRI method, rice farmers have realized 3 types of advantages:

  • A saving of seeds 

For one hectare, SRI requires row sowing with a seedling spacing of 25 x 25 cm and a seed quantity of 4.8 kg of seed per hectare, whereas previously rice farmers used more than 100 kg of seed per hectare.

  • An increase in rice yield per hectare

The average production recorded per hectare depends on the locality. Indeed, by respecting the conditions of physiological development of rice with SRI, for the cooperatives of Nyanza-lac (Kabo and Kibaba), the yields obtained oscillate around 8 to 9 tons per hectare, while in the cooperative of Maramvya, an average of 6 to 8 tons per hectare was obtained.

  • Saving water 

Contrary to popular belief, rice is not an aquatic plant. SRI is a minimum water rice crop. The necessary amount of water is given when needed. During the vegetative phase, a water layer of 1 cm must be maintained, and then the rice fields are emptied to oxygenate the soil.

Rice in the flowering stage

The introduction of SRI in the three cooperatives supported by Inades-Formation Burundi was carried out within the framework of the programme “Promotion of food sovereignty and women’s participation in rural Burundi”, financed by the Basque Government.

In view of the more than satisfactory results, Inades-Formation Burundi will continue to disseminate this method in all the areas where the beneficiary members of the three cooperatives cultivate rice.

Rice harvest

Inades-Formation Burundi

The PRCCRCC project (Project for Community Capacity Building for Climate Change Resilience) trained its beneficiaries, including women, in the manufacture of improved stoves using less wood as one of the measures for adaptation to climate change. As it is women who are directly involved in the search for cooking wood and in the cooking of food, special emphasis was placed on their participation in promoting these stoves at the level of the project’s intervention hills.

The improved stoves that use little wood enable the beneficiaries, including women, to consume less wood for cooking and therefore to exert less pressure on the afforestation. Another finding is that these stoves reduce the cooking time of food and produce little smoke during cooking.

 

A core group of trainers to facilitate the sharing of experiences among project beneficiaries.

The PRCCRCC project trained a core group of trainers comprising 77 beneficiaries, including 36 men and 41 women, in the six intervention hills on the techniques for making mobile improved cookstoves and the construction of fixed stoves using little wood, with the aim of enabling a large number of beneficiaries to have access to these techniques.

Women’s participation is primarily in the work of extracting and preparing the clay prior to manufacture, and in the baking of these stoves. Women, as the first users of these improved stoves, are involved in their popularization at the hill level by extolling their virtues. Since the training to date, 938 improved stoves have been made by the project beneficiaries and they continue to make them.

The use of improved stoves at the level of beneficiary households is a climate change adaptation measure that mitigates the effects in the intervention area and also halves the amount of wood that households used to consume with traditional three-stone stoves.

These stoves do not emit smoke during cooking. This means that less greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, which increases resilience to climate change.

 

An activity that values women.

The manufacture of these improved cookstoves is an income-generating activity for the beneficiaries, including women, as it provides additional household income. This income from the sale of these fireplaces enables the beneficiaries, especially women, to buy small livestock that provides them with organic manure and enables them to increase production in their kitchen gardens. The trained women are very active and are proud to be able to make these stoves for the entire project area.