GITEGA July 30th (ABP) – The Village Association for Mutual Aid and Community Development (AVEDEC), operational since 2002, is delighted with the results of its work to raise awareness and train the people on Integrated Water Resources Management, hygiene and sanitation, and adaptation to climate change.
The achievements are remarkable especially in the Mugera zone of Bugendana commune, in Gitega province (central Burundi), which is its area of action, but also in other communes of that province in the center of the country, and even in other provinces of Burundi, given that the interventions of that local NGO extend over the national territory, the coordinator of AVEDEC, Mr. Léopold Simbarakiye, told a check by ABP in an interview, on Tuesday.
The main goal of the public awareness and training works is to support farmers so that they increase agricultural yields and improve their socio-economic living conditions.
Among the results which mark the pride of AVEDEC, the coordinator notably cited the involvement of the people of Gitora village in the Mugera zone, in actions to protect the soil by drawing contour lines over an area of 40 hectares, the production and growing of agro-forestry trees on approximately 10 ha, the distribution of seedlings of agro-forestry trees to households in the area surrounding the Masare micro-basin and to schools in the Mugera zone.
That NGO also supervises and trains farmers in modern farming techniques. It is within this very framework that she initiated the practice of hill irrigation of the agricultural field which is in good vegetative state, even during the dry season.
That irrigated field of Gitora was visited on July 23, 2021 by the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, who appreciated that good practice and invited the farmers who have not yet started hill irrigation to start to increase agricultural production.
To extend hill irrigation over a large area of the Masare micro-basin and the shallows of Gitora hill, AVEDEC has built a dam which will be operational next August, said Laurent Nkunzimana, responsible for Community Mobilization and Training for that NGO.
The AVEDEC coordinator is therefore delighted with the results of the supervision of farmers marked in particular by the intensification of various crops such as vegetables, beans, peas and rice which generate income for farmers who regularly sell surpluses of their agricultural products.
AVEDEC is also involved in the construction of hydraulic infrastructures and their protection, and in the integrated management of water resources. It thus has 40 developed sources and 5 water supply lines in the Bugendana commune.
For the hygiene component, AVEDEC promoted sanitation systems in households and schools. Those devices consist in particular of composts, adequate latrines, improved stoves, a device for washing hands and vegetable gardens. Actions to adapt to climate change consist of setting up an anti-erosion system and popularizing improved stoves.
An AVEDEC training and outreach center has also been operational since 2010 in Munyinya village, in the Mugera zone. It trains community leaders in modern farming techniques, modern livestock, hygiene and sanitation, and environmental protection, said the director of the center, Mr. Samuel Bigirimana. That center houses fields of demonstration and practical application of the knowledge acquired.
The AVEDEC coordinator indicated that this NGO is continuing its work in the various provinces of its action area formed this year by Gitega, Bubanza, Bujumbura, Kirundo and Muyinga.