BUJUMBURA, 21 January 2021 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it provided basic services to 43,296 refugees in camps across Burundi between 2018 and 2020.

The micro projects focused on improving living conditions, including providing water and facilitating access to an alternative source of energy for cooking, according to news reports citing a posting on the AfDB website.

Seriving Congolese Refugees in Burundi - Photo Libraries Without Borders

Serving Congolese Refugees in Burundi – Libraries Without Borders

The solar equipment installed in the camps included domestic solar lamps, 2,500 individual solar lamps distributed to hight school students in the camps and a total of 250 solar streetlights in all the camps targeted.

Burundian returnees and citizens living near the refugee camps also benefited from $1.3 million Transition Support Facility Grant.

Refugees also worked on stemming environemtnl degradation in the areas around their camps as well as on initiatives to boost their income.

Twenty-six refugees and 14 members of their host communities were employed full-time by the project.

The AfDB explained that the full-time jobs and other income-generating activities promoted peaceful cohabitation by involving refugees and members of their host community in a cooperative and joint productive undertakings.

Nyankanda Refugee Camp - Photo Iwacu

Nyankanda Refugee Camp – Photo Iwacu

Access to potable water for refugees - Photo UNHCR

Potable water for refugees – UNHCR

.A briquette production unit was completed at Nyankanda camp where some of the refugees are now using the briquettes as cooking fuel.

Part of the project consisted of building a solar field of 46 large panels (300 W per panel for a total of 13.8 KW).

Refugees participated in planting 28,320 treeds of different specifies in an afforestation effort that covered 325 hectares, compared to target of 100 hectares.

The European Union approves of the impact of the project and has pledged 2.1 million euros in additional funding for the extension of the project.

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