Getting involved with Burundi’s SAAFEWAS project

As a country of over 10.4-million people, in the land-locked nation of Burundi, protecting and ensuring the security and welfare of their agriculture system is a priority. Facing issues of deforestation, land degradation, improper water management and poverty, agroforestry has come to be one of the countries primary means of ensuring food security, environmental protection and poverty alleviation among smallholder farmers.

Despite having a literacy rate higher than some other neighbouring countries, it can be hard to find quality education. Consequently, the majority of the country’s population live in rural areas as subsistent farmers who grow food only for themselves and their family. This is a problem because just 33% of Burundi’s land is capable of being used for farming.

In addition to this, rampant deforestation and overpopulation have led to the countries natural forested lands being all but wiped out. This has not only affected the livelihoods of Burundi’s people but also damaged its eco-systems and wildlife. With Burundi being one of the most densely countries in Africa, this means that the agricultural choices available to its people are becoming increasingly limited.

Agroforestry is one of the ways which have been identified as being able to alleviate and help remedy this problem. By using more advanced agricultural and forestry techniques and technologies, the people of Burundi will be able to create more sustainable, healthy and ecologically sound farming practices.

By helping to alleviate the problems which the people of Burundi face, it’s possible to not only improve their livelihoods and secure reliable access to materials and resources but to also increase biodiversity and the cycling of nutrients and water within their agro-ecosystem. This, in turn, can lead to increased choice and land availability amongst the countries growing population.

ASASS’s (the Association pour la Solidarite et l’Assistance Socio-Sanitaire) mission is to build strong enough partnerships, which will allow us to reach 1,000,000 farming families across Burundi‘s 17 districts. By partnering with us, you will be helping to provide these vulnerable families with the materials and education they need, ensuring that they can effectively farm the land available to them and help to improve their living conditions.

This project is known as the SAAFEWAS project (Scaling up agroforestry to achieve foods security, environment protection, women empowerment and poverty alleviation among smallholder farmers in Burundi). It requires Water Education organisations, donor groups which would be willing to donate materials, key partners such as universities and funding agencies and ministries to help reduce the barriers currently in these areas.

ASASS require UK volunteers to serve as “Representatives” and are looking for a UK-based Foundation/charity/corporation to help with the problems highlighted above. The partner will need to sign an MOU with ASASS to agree on this project and should help with the management and monitoring of ASASS for UK volunteer “representatives”. If applicable, we will also need a UK-based partner to use an online banking system for the ASASS Volunteer Representative in the UK, which will accept online donations to be transferred to Burundi for ASASS projects.

If you would like to know more about the project and get involved, you can contact ASASS at

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