Resilient management of water and soil resources in Burundi

Published: 01 June 2017
Last edited: 05 March 2018
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The GIZ project ACCES implements adaptation measures in vulnerable watersheds. Natural resources, such as water and soil, are managed sustainably in order to reduce erosion and improve agricultural yields. "green" no-regret adaptation measures, such as agroforestry and community reforestation, are complemented by other measures such as rainwater storage and promotion of rainwater infiltration and soil conservation measures.


East and South Africa
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Tropical deciduous forest
Disaster risk reduction
Erosion prevention
Forest Management
Gender mainstreaming
Water provision and management
Watershed management
Hazards addressed
Erratic rainfall
Land and forest degradation
Loss of biodiversity
Shift of seasons
Vector and water borne diseases
Sustainable development goals
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Sendai Framework
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 4: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030
Target 7: Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030


Burundi | Isare, Mutambu, Marangara


Burundi's population, heavily dependent on agriculture and natural resources, is poverty-stricken and experiences food shortages and recurrent famines. The degradation of ecosystems and water and soil resources are due, among other things, to the heavy pressure on land resources, inadequate exploitation of natural resources and overexploitation of forest resources. These problems are further aggravated by climate change:

  • Increased rainfall in the eastern and southern regions of the country and the central plateau
  • Dryer months preceding the rain season
  • Potential extension of the dry season
  • High probability of an average annual increase in air temperatures during the 21st century, especially during the dry season
  •   Increased risk of extreme events (floods, landslides, etc.).


  • Policy and local decision-makers
  • Technical and departmental executives
  • Final beneficiary: rural population
  • Selected watersheds: inhabitants of communes and hillsides, particularly women and girls

How do the building blocks interact?

The building blocks interact according to a holistic approach based on the implementation of no-regret CCA activities / measures derived from a "bottom-down" and "top-down" analysis. These measures are reliable and easily replicable because they are adapted to the local context and shared with the population. The following diagram represents the territorialized and gender-sensitive CCA approach of the project, which is based on several pillars (holistic design): Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), improved soil fertility, Food sovereignty and fight against soil erosion. To achieve this, the project uses several types of CCA measures: capacity building, policy and framework condition interventions, green technical measures and action research.




The topic of ecosystem-based adaptation found its way into debates in Burundi. Facts about the relationship between the effects of climate change, environmental degradation and disaster prevention are becoming increasingly known and influence planning processes and action at national and local levels.

Through the planning and participatory implementation of adaptation measures, local actors are sensitized on the benefits of climate-sensitive management of water and soil resources. The population is increasingly aware of the value of "green" adaptation measures to improve their economic situation.