Burundi Watershed Management Project
The forest resources of Burundi have been seriously degraded since the beginning of the socio-political crisis in the country. This 10 year-long crisis resulted in the country's forest cover rate decrease from eight percent to five percent.
In the face of this severe environmental degradation, the Bank designed and implemented the Burundi watershed management project.
The project helped to strengthen Burundi Department of Forestry officials’ capacities as well as those of the local population to better manage State and community plantations. It also contributed to sustainable management of family farms.
The project funded the creation of 15,000 ha State plantations to protect bare hillsides against erosion. At the request of the population, it also financed the creation of 1,800 ha of community woodlots.
Under the project, erosion control works (contour bunds, erosion control hedges, stone works, vegetated ditches, etc.) were built on the slopes and farmlands threatened by erosion, totaling 600,000 linear metres.
Approximately 50 km long old tracks in poor condition were rehabilitated, and 100 km new tracks opened in the new plantations. Also, about 250 km tracks and fire-breaks have been opened or maintained under the project.
The project promoted income- generating activities such as bee-keeping, market gardening and fruit-growing. The project contributed to the creation of 3,750 ha private plantations to satisfy the population’s forest product needs.
During the five years covered by project implementation, 145 ha hedgerows and the sowing of 3,000 ha multi-purpose fodder species enabled to improve 5,800 ha natural pastures in the project area. These activities reduced soil degradation along cattle tracks, increased the availability of fodder for cattle and reduced livestock pressure on woodlots, and improved soil fertility and production systems.