GNF - Planting Trees and Introducing Improved Cooking Stoves Burundi

Trees and Cooking Stoves for Burundi



With an area of 27,834 square kilometres and approximately 10.5 million inhabitants, Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa and one of the most densely populated countries in the world. More than two thirds of the population live below the poverty line and in the current Human Development Index of the United Nations Burundi was ranked 178th of 187 countries. Basic needs are not met in many parts of the country and the high number of returning war refugees further aggravates the situation. The high population density (> 300 inhabitants/sq. km) has led to the fact that deforestation, soil erosion and habitat loss pose major problems in Burundi. Wood and charcoal cover 90 % of the country’s energy supply and the country suffers from an on-going deforestation of about 9 % per annum – one of the world’s highest deforestation rates. To meet the demand for firewood, the majority of the population is forced to either buy wood for expensive prices or to illegally cut it in the few remaining national parks.

Project Goals

The goal of the project is the long-term supply of households in need in four Burundian villages with firewood and improved cooking stoves. This will not only improve the ecological and social situation of the local population, but also contribute to the fight against deforestation, as the beneficiaries will no longer have to illegally cut wood in the national parks.

Beneficiaries of the Project

The project will be carried out in four Burundian villages: Kagwema, Rukaramu, Maramvya and Gateri. The inhabitants of these villages are war refugees who fled the civil war in Burundi in 1972 and returned to the country in 2007, most of the refugees returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even though the returnees received small private estates and houses from the state to build up new livelihoods, many basic needs, such as the supply with drinking water, food and firewood, are not covered. Around 1/3 of the families’ income is used to buy firewood - money that could be spent on food or education.

Project Activities

In the framework of the project around 60,000 tree seedlings will be planted on private properties of the local population. This activity will be carried out together with the beneficiaries. In order to ensure the sustainability of the project, local people will be trained in the production and plantation of tree seedlings. In addition, around 1,000 improved cooking stoves will be manufactured and distributed to households in need. Up until now the families cook on open fires, so that around 80 % of the energy is lost. The improved cooking stoves are closed and the heat is concentrated on the cooking pots. Thanks to the higher efficiency of the improved stoves about 50 % of precious firewood can be saved. In each village, local people are trained to manufacture new and to repair old improved cooking stoves. The costs that occur after the completion of the project (for new tree seedlings and the maintenance of the cooking stoves) will be covered by the families themselves, who will be able to do so thanks to the savings from buying firewood.

Project Partner

Biraturaba is a non-profit organisation based in Bujumbura, which strives to combat social imbalance, ignorance, and exclusion. Biraturaba specifically works together with war refugees and helps building up basic infrastructure in rural regions. In addition, Biraturaba organises environmental awareness raising campaigns, in order to foster long-term change. GNF has already successfully implemented other projects in cooperation with Biraturaba, as for instance a drinking water project in Burundi.

Project Sponsors

The project is funded with CO2 compensation funds from the State Government of Baden-Württemberg through Stiftung Entwicklungs- Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg and by the Environmental Action Germany and Rapunzel Naturkost with funds from the Hand in Hand-Fund.

 Cooking on open fire - 80 % of the energy is lost.
 Improved cooking stoves
 School children are planting tree seedlings in the school grounds.
 Seedling production by beneficiaries

Projekt Partner

 Biraturaba - unser Projektpartner


 State Government of Baden-Württemberg
 Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg (SEZ)
 Hand in Hand Fund

25 July 2017


The GNF project "Fighting deforestation & introducing improved cooking facilities" is nominated as National Winner of the Energy Globe Award Burundi.

 National Energy Globe Award Burundi

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Reduction of Deforestation by Planting Trees and Introducing Improved Cooking Stoves in Burundi


August 2013 – July 2014




CO2 compensation funds from the State Government of Baden-Württemberg through Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg, Environmental Action Germany and Rapunzel Naturkost with funds from the Hand in Hand-Fund