Where we operate


(c) Landry Mudugu

Burundi, located in the Great Lakes region, has experienced high population growth in recent decades and is one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of the population lives from subsistence farming in the hills of Burundi.

As is the case elsewhere, population growth, deforestation and intensive farming have led to soil and environmental degradation. As a result, Burundi suffered droughts, floods and erosion.

Moreover, Burundi has fallen far behind in the SDGs on drinking water and sanitation.


of the rural population has no drinking water within half an hour of home


Burundi lost 47% of its forest area between 1990 and 2005


The well is now better arranged, but the water has a somewhat strange color. Turns out that the protected area around the spring is not yet large enough.

Rose Minani from Muhanza – Burundi

The source areas of the river Kajeke that flows to the city of Bujumbura, and the Mucungwe that flows into Lake Tanganyika, are ground zero for Join For Water and its partners. We work in the municipalities of Bubanza and Isare, north and east of Bujumbura.

The area has to deal with drought, water pollution, more extreme weather phenomena and floods. The ecosystem areas are deteriorating and need protection so that sufficient water remains available.

A shortage of sanitation facilities and lack of a well-maintained water supply network result in poor water quality. As a result, water-related diseases are still common.


Burundi school latrineblok
AVEDEC and Join For Water build ecological latrines at schools. (c) Katrien Van Hooydonk


Reforestation with native species, agroforestry and anti-erosion measures protect ecosystems so that they can continue to provide resources: clean water, food, water for agriculture, collection of abundant rainfall… The partners Greening Burundi and ASREEBU already have extensive experience with this.

Expansion of the drinking water infrastructure and professionalisation of management is a second course of action. The water will be directed from the source zones in the hills to the municipalities, for residents, schools, health centres … Join For Water also promotes ecological latrines for home and school.

AVEDEC has been a partner of ours since 2008, specialised in safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and with thorough background knowledge of local policy.

Local organisations, government bodies, communities, schools … receive support and training in the field of ‘water rights’, about management of the systems in a sustainable way, and (awareness surrounding) the protection of water resources and rivers.

The University of Burundi is responsible for further research into the protection and conservation of water resources, water and soil management.


What preceded

Join For Water has been active in Burundi since 1997, even if things are often difficult as a result of internal conflicts. The population can use all the support it can get.

In the province of Ngozi, Gitega, Karuzi, Bujumbura Rural, intensive work has already been done on the protection of sources, the construction of drinking water systems, restoration of drinking water points, building latrine blocks in schools and public areas …

The common thread has always been Integrated Water Management and the guidance of governments and local organisations to ensure proper management of the services.

Because of the civil war, Burundi has many vulnerable families with a widow as the head of the family. These families received extra help in creating a vegetable garden, a rainwater collection system, a better cooking fire and some poultry or goats.


Join For Water receives support for its activities in Burundi from:

Fonds Elisabeth et Amélie



Medewerker Joëlle Munezero over waterbeheer in Burundi

“We voelen de effecten van de klimaatverandering al verschillende jaren. Het opvallendst zijn de hevige regens en de hogere temperaturen. Het droge seizoen duurt ook veel langer, met kwalijke gevolgen voor de landbouw. Al deze zaken vinden hun weerslag in de economie, maar ook in de gezondheid van de bevolking: mislukte oogsten zorgen voor ondervoeding en na hevige regens zien we een toename van watergebonden ziektes zoals malaria.”

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different tree species from the region are cultivated

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Clean drinking water changes your life

In some regions of Burundi, only 1 in 5 people has access to drinking water close to home. This is also the case in Bubanza where Join For Water is working with its partner AVEDEC to improve access to water and sanitation.

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each family owns on average 0.25 ha of land


the population density is about 400 inhabitants per km²

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Every patch of land counts

In the municipalities of Isare and Bubanza, several wells provide drinking water to the families in the area. That is the work of partner AVEDEC and Join For Water.

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