The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the reduction of diarrheal disease prevalence among children under five in the provinces of Kayanza and Karusi. The project promotes the availability, access to, and use of water infrastructure for drinking and sanitation, and strengthens the capacity of Burundi’s Red Cross to respond to diarrheal outbreaks and protect vulnerable groups. Burundi is one of Africa’s poorest countries. Malnutrition is amongst the highest globally. Infants and pregnant women experience high morbidity and mortality rates. These rates are due to HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections, malnutrition, malaria, and diarrheal diseases. Diarrheal diseases are the third leading cause of morbidity in Burundi. In the Kayanza and Karusi provinces, around 30% of children under five will visit health facilities due to diarrheal diseases. In the Karusi province, the Health District of Nyabikere (specifically, communes, Gitaramuka, Mutumba, Nyabikere and Shombo) is targeted. In the province of Kayanza, Gahombo Sanitary District (specifically, communes, Gahombo, Gatara and Muhanga), and Musema Sanitary District (specifically, communes Rango and Butaganzwa) are targets of the project. These two provinces are amongst the most densely populated in Burundi.
Reducing deaths related to diarrhoea is carried out through building safe and reliable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and investing in human capacities. Training to both build and maintain water and sanitation infrastructures, and training community educators, volunteers, and trainers in Participatory Hygiene And Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) form the core of the project.
15,600 households with children under five are targeted in the PHAST process, amounting to 93,600 people. Wider communities will also benefit from improved water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructures and community programmes.