A Year of Impact: Burundi
Written by Plant With Purpose on August 18, 2015 in Annual Report
Have you seen Plant With Purpose’s latest Annual Report? Filled with stories of impact, updates on program growth, and in-country accomplishments, the report shares highlights from fiscal year 2014. We will be sharing country achievements over the next couple of weeks continuing today with Burundi!
LED BY NOE NIZIGAMA
Director, Floresta Burundi
FEEDING A COUNTRY
Burundi is the hungriest country in the world with 73.4 percent of the population undernourished (IFPRI). Plant With Purpose’s sustainable farming trainings are meeting practical needs in Burundi. Impact evaluations showed that participating farmers are planting a greater diversity of crops, totaling 32 different crop species. Greater crop diversity means resistance to risk (pest, drought, growing conditions) and increased harvests throughout the year. This increases the opportunity for income generation. Partnering farmer Elise Kaganda from Kiremba shares, “With the help of Plant With Purpose Burundi, we hope that gradually we can achieve this dream of developing our agricultural activities to meet our food needs and at the same time give us income.”
Intensified focus on planting trees is also increasing food security in Burundi. Claudette Niyonzima shares, “Our region is seriously threatened by drought and this is largely due to the lack of tree planting. …. Personally, I have planted over 100 agroforestry trees and 30 fruit trees.” Claudette lives in the community of Muzye at the lower edge of the Nyakazu Watershed. A baseline study of the Nyakazu Watershed was conducted to understand existing needs and current biodiversity. Trees planted in this area are anchoring soil, increasing water quality, and creating economic opportunities.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SAVING
Within this last year, the number of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) grew from 51 groups to 221. 92 percent of participating households are actively saving cash through VSLAs to meet practical needs like purchasing food, paying school fees, and covering the cost of medical care. For the first time in her life, Maria Hanabunara says, “I was able to pay off all my debts!” and and send all of her children to school.
The complete 2014 Annual Report is available online.