GNF - Clean Drinking Water for School Children in Burundi

Clean Drinking Water for School Children in Burundi



The Republic of Burundi ranks 185th out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index. It is one of the least-developed countries. The outbreak of the civil war in 1993 is the main reason for this development. Since that time the political situation has been unstable. In April 2009 only, the rebel group FNL was disarmed and recognized as a political party. 


The reconstruction efforts in Burundi are arduous and difficult as most of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed during the civil war. People lack clean drinking water and sanitation. The situation is aggravated by the return of war refugees, who preferably settle in the capital of Burundi, in Bujumbura - the demand exceeds the local water availability.

Project Goals

Three schools will benefit from the project and drinking water will be provided to about 5,000 school children and residents in the villages in total. The schools are located in the two poorest suburbs of Bujumburas - Kagwema and Rukaramu - on the northern shore of Lake Tanganiyka.


At present, the schools withdraw the needed drinking and cooking water from small water holes or irrigation canals. This untreated water is strongly contaminated with bacteria causing serious diarrheal diseases.

Project Activities

The installation of a water filter system provides safe drinking water to the schools. One filter produces up to 10,000 litres per day. It has been specially developed for developing countries with little infrastructure.


To ensure best possible care and maintenance of the filter system, native technicians are trained for several days to be able to carry out repairs independently at the end of the project. Additionally, the headmasters and teachers will be informed comprehensively about the operation and function of the new filter system. Furthermore, the careful use of the natural resources and renewable energies, particularly solar energy as well as the care of the filters will be explained. Sustainability will be a focal point as well.

Project Partner

Biraturaba is a non-profit organisation based in Bujumbura striving to combat social imbalance, ignorance, and exclusion. Initiating environmental groups in secondary schools, awareness raising about HIV/AIDS, integration of returning refugees, and building up of infrastructure for a human life are other core activities of Biraturaba.


The Kenyan Pureflow company is specialised in planning, installation and operation of water filter systems in Eastern Africa. The water filters, called sky hydrants, are based on a solar powered membrane filtration system, and produce clean water without electricity.


More information on Lake Tanganyika, member in the Living Lakes Network East Africa since 2009, is available on our website.

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 Happy gambling at the nearby ditch.
 Water from the ditch.
 Landscape in Burundi.
 Residents at the water sampling point.
 Building of the new water kiosk
 Clean water for the school children

Project Duration:


Project Country:






Project Partners:

January 2012 – July 2013




Foundation Ursula Merz, Baden-Württemberg Foundation for Development and Cooperation (SEZ), Sika AG and Lufthansa in the frame of the programme "Miles to help"


Biraturaba (Burundi) and Pureflow (Kenya)