Maramvyaj Camp for Displaced People

Action for a United World (Azione per un Mondo Unito - AMU) is an Italian NGO that runs development, training and education projects both in Italy and in developing countries. Founded in 1986, it is committed to sustainable cooperation by respecting the social, cultural, and economic local realities.

Action for a United World have started a new project for 350 displaced families in Burundi. Obtaining legal documents is the first step for these people to step out of the shadows and become fully-fledged citizens. Stefano C., is responsible for the project section of AMU. Recently he visited some of the main areas of Burundi that have been reached by their projects.

He recounts:

In the rural areas of Bujumbura, in the Commune of Mutimbuzi, there is a camp for displaced people called 'Maramvyaj' where one of our projects that provides assistance to families is underway. The displaced families have been forced to move twice in the course of a month, settling first in an area on the outskirts of Bujumbura - a swamp - then on land near the airport in the Commune of Butirere. The new settlement, however, is farther from the city and more difficult to reach.

When I arrived a session was being held beneath a large tent. A young woman was collecting personal information so that families and children could be registered in the Commune and have access to health and educational services.

This registration process is rather complicated because the people came under the authority of two previous communes. So each individual had to be checked again in order to see if they had been registered previously or not, and then changes made to their documents. This is all done manually and is therefore very tedious and time-consuming.

As for the water situation, there is only one public distribution point, with only one fountain, about half a kilometre from the settlement. The queues begin early in the morning at around three o’clock and go on for many hours. We spoke with the mayor and learned that a feasibility study is underway on a project for the entire north region of the city, which would provide adequate pipe diameter and flow rate, and a tank for collecting water right next to the area. However, while waiting for the project to be finished, we will examine other possible short-term solutions that will alleviate at least some of the difficulties faced by the local population in providing water for itself.”

Stefano C., Burundi

(Source: Action for a United World Online)