In the Great Lakes region of East Africa is Burundi, a small country of 27,834 square kilometers and a population of around 10 million.
The commune of Giteranyi is located in the far north of Burundi in the province of Muyinga. It is bounded in the north by Rwanda, in the south by the commune of Butihinda, in the east by Tanzania and in the west by the province of Kirundo. It covers an area of 397 km2 with a population of around 80,000. The municipality extends over two natural regions: Bweru and Bugesera, the latter covers 92.7% of the surface of the municipality. This natural region is made up of a plateau with an average height of 1400 m. The commune is divided into 35 different villages, among which we find the village of Giteranyi where our project will be located.
THE CHOICE OF DRILLING IN GITERANYI
The choice of the type of work to be carried out depends essentially on the depth of the aquifer, the hydrogeological data of the land and the cost of the operation.
Giteranyi, hydrogeologically, is located on a plateau at an altitude of 1,638 meters. The presence of its water table is estimated at more than 100 m in depth. The choice of the construction of a borehole turns out to be the only possible option facing this depth.
Drilling offers better security in the microbiological and physico-chemical quality of the water produced than a large diameter well. Water from a borehole is not exposed to contamination of air and the surrounding environment. A well-loaded water table allows the exploitation of a borehole for at least twenty years. With good training in the operation and maintenance of a borehole, the beneficiaries of this borehole (the population of Giteranyi) will be able to ensure the long-term maintenance and survival of the structure. The borehole will be pumped manually, that is to say that it will operate without electricity and that it will be possible to obtain supplies day and night.
The objective of the project is to build a borehole in Giteranyi with a budget of around CHF 20,000 to ensure the supply of drinking water to the village. Completion of the project would mean a considerable improvement in the quality of life for the residents of Giteranyi.
With better access to clean water, the incidence of illnesses linked to drinking contaminated water is expected to decrease. This could even result in a drop in the infant mortality rate in Giteranyi. Increased consumption of drinking water would also contribute to better personal hygiene for the population.
Another fairly significant benefit of the project is to lower the illiteracy rate in Giteranyi. Currently, many children are responsible for collecting drinking water from a source more than 4 km from the village. Having a borehole in the village would greatly reduce the time spent on this task, allowing these children to go to school. The proximity of the borehole to the village will also provide safe drinking water overnight and reduce the number of conflicts over who can use it first.
Finally, the project would benefit the economic situation of the population of Giteranyi. The presence of a borehole would not only lower the price of drinking water sold at the village shopping center, but could also create jobs and allow training in a very useful and highly sought-after area in Burundi.
The project would not end after the construction of a single borehole. In fact, the long-term objective would be to build several boreholes, one per year, to guarantee each resident of Giteranyi easy access to drinking water. At the same time, the installation of latrines and showers at the village school would be envisaged, accompanied by a prevention and awareness campaign on personal and clothing hygiene. Thus, improving the quality of life would become a permanent acquisition.