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The Traditional Tree „Umuhivu“ in the Fight Against Poverty and Climate Change

HOPE'87 logo_2008

The aim of this project is to combat poverty through the use of derivates of the traditional Umuhivu tree as well as the climate change in the Northern province of Kirundo, Burundi and thus contribute to environmental protection and climate change mitigation in Kirundo province, Bugabira municipality.

The project’s beneficiaries are the inhabitants of Bugabira commune, especially the returning refugees and the local Batwa. The project directly targets 900 beneficiaries (100 members per hill and thus more than 5,000 indirect beneficiaries), of which women as pillars of the rural economy take up 65%. There is a special focus on Batwa women and fishermen who are fishing in the lakes Cohoha and Gacamirindi.

The first dimension of the project is to help alleviate poverty and promote the development of the population of the province of Kirundo, in the commune of Bugabira who traditionally lived exclusively from pottery and blacksmithing, which is no longer profitable for them due to competition from modern materials. The project helps strengthening the artisanal methods of blacksmithing, pottery and basket weaving by modern production methods based on derivatives of the traditional Umuhivu tree, from which the project derives its name, to make them more profitable.

Furthermore, through community work, the promotion of employment and entrepreneurship and the protection of flora and fauna, the project’s activities contribute to the strengthening of the Burundian economy by increasing the income of the indigenous Batwa communities so they are able to sustainably secure their livelihood.

The second dimension of the project is to fight climate change in order to increase the resilience of the population in Kirundo province. To achieve this goal, awareness-raising sessions on climate change, its causes and consequences for the riparian zones of lakes Cohoha and Gacamirindi are organised, community environmental clubs are set up and the Umuhivu tree is planted at the lakeshore of the two environmentally contaminated lakes so the fish stock can grow in the shade of the trees. The activities further contribute to significantly increasing the productivity of the arable land in the Bugabira commune thanks to the reduction of erosion following the planting of Umuhivu trees, thus improving the income of the farming population, as well as to securing the rights of the nine Batwa cooperatives on the nine hills in Burundi’s multi-ethnic society through creating a better administrative and technical framework. This second part of the project is implemented in partnership with the government to raise awareness about environmental protection and the fight against climate change as a response to the operationalisation of the Burundian National Action Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change (NAPA) elaborated by the government in 2007.

Infos & Kontakt

Robert Ottitsch

Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung

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