BUJUMBURA March 28th (ABP) – The Director General of Environmental Planning, Agriculture and Livestock at the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Emmanuel Niyungeko opened Thursday March 23, 2023, a workshop presentation of the Burundi Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project (PRRPB) which supports land services in the country’s three communes, namely Isare in Bujumbura province, Buhinyuza in Muyinga and Matongo in Kayanza province.
In his speech, Mr. Niyungeko said that 80% of the cases submitted to the basic courts in Burundi are land. But with the PRRPB project, 16,956 land certificates are expected to be issued, of which 50%, or 8,478 certificates in the name of women. He stressed that scaling up the PRRPB experience would therefore be of paramount importance for the country in conflict prevention and sustainable development.
According to Niyungeko, 107 of the 116 rural communes already have land services, some more efficient than others, but the level of operationalization of most of them leaves something to be desired. He specified that the combined efforts of all development partners interested in decentralized land management would make it possible to cover the entire national territory in grouped reconnaissance operations in a short period of time, like the PRRPB which, within 24 months, comes to cover 26 villages with impressive results both quantitatively and qualitatively.
He also affirmed that the government of Burundi remains open to any collaboration in the direction of the consolidation of peace and the promotion of sustainable development. He recalled that the objective of this project is to clarify and secure land rights, to resolve land conflicts in the communes and villages of intervention and to promote access for women and vulnerable groups to land and land security.
In her welcoming address, the national coordinator of the PRRPB, Mrs. Odette Kayitesi, said that the PRRPB is a project of the government of Burundi financed by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She also reported that the implementation of this project supports and mobilizes community-based natural resource management groups and farmers’ groups, and provides the farmers concerned with technical support, inputs as well as training on innovative technologies of restoration and land management.
In addition, she added, that support involves land certification, terracing and related infrastructure when the terrain requires it, including through labor-intensive public works.
According to her, the PRRPB also promotes the development of alternative livelihoods. Overall, smallholders have access to larger, more secure and improved land resources. They are also less exposed to the risks associated with natural disasters. Mrs. Kayitesi noted that improving agricultural production will help improve household nutritional status, food security and livelihoods in a more peaceful environment.
The coordinator of the PRRPB also specified that land tenure security and the reduction of land disputes constitute one of the favorable factors for sustainable agricultural and rural development. This is why it was integrated into the activities of the project as one of the prerequisites for its success, she justified. Indeed, Mrs. Kayitesi also indicated that the identification, demarcation and preliminary registration of properties as well as an amicable settlement of land disputes facilitate the implementation of other project activities, namely the construction of terraces or the reinforcement of plant cover for which it is important to know the property limits beforehand.
The coordinator did not forget to recall that the PRRPB project supports land services in the three municipalities mentioned above by facilitating access to land certificates and multifaceted support for the three structures by also supporting their establishment and operationalization. That project, she added, contributes to the identification of state lands in the communes of Isare and Buhinyuza through support to the general management having land use planning in its attributions.
She asked the government of Burundi to support it further so that they can work in all the provinces of Burundi in order to reduce land conflicts and support the development of the country. It should be recalled that after 26 months of implementing land certification activities, the PRRPB is happy to have largely exceeded its target of 16,956 land certificates produced, up to 103,625, i.e. a rate of achievement of 611.14%.