Sleeping under a roof, a dream came true for hundreds of Burundian families

06 December 2023

In Giteranyi, in the province of Muyinga in north-east Burundi, many families were living in makeshift shelters that could not withstand the harsh weather conditions. This is why the Luxembourg Red Cross, the Belgian Red Cross and the Burundi Red Cross have set up a habitat support project, funded by the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. A total of 200 houses have been built in the commune and 335 others rehabilitated.

Consolate, a 67-year-old widow, lives on Rubenga hill with her four grandchildren following the death of her daughter. She talks about how the renovation of her house has helped her.

“We used to live in a house with a straw roof. But the roof gradually deteriorated so that we were almost sleeping under the stars, which was very difficult during the rainy season.

One day, the chief of the hill told me that we could benefit from the rehabilitation project. I am very grateful to the Red Cross for coming to my aid. Without this charity, I don’t know how we would have managed.

Vital, his wife and their four children benefited from a new house. In exile for eight years in Tanzania, they were repatriated in 2021.

“When we arrived, we had no money to build ourselves a house. So we built a hut as a shelter, but it was in a very bad state.

The Red Cross saved us from this deplorable situation and I am very grateful for this precious gift. In addition to this house, I must also say a very big thank you for the health card and essential household items we received.

In addition to the construction and renovation of houses, the residents of the Giteranyi commune have benefited from the installation of equipped fireplaces and sanitary facilities, household kits, market garden seeds, fruit trees and membership of the community health insurance scheme.

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