The Ministry of Water, Environment, Land Management and Urban Planning serves as NBI’s focal point ministry and its Minister is a member of the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM).  Burundi is represented on the Nile-TAC by the Director General of Burundi Geographical Institute (IGEBU) and the Advisor to the Minister respectively.

Burundi hosts the Project Management Unit of the Regional Agricultural Trade and Productivity (RATP) Project located in Bujumbura.

To facilitate in-country coordination of NBI’s activities, Burundi established a focal point institution within the National NBI Office whose specific roles include: provide a forum for in-country coordination of NBI’s projects and activities; to assist with promoting coordination and integration with other relevant national activities and initiatives as well as logistical arrangements for incoming NBI missions.

The country contributes US$ 50,000 annually towards the operational costs of the core costs of the institution. This is in addition to providing counterpart funds for all investment projects as well as hosting and meeting all local  for Projects Management Units based in Burundi, namely the on going Regional Agricultural Trade and Productivity Project  from April 2008-September 2009 (Phase I) and from November 2009-April 2012 (Phase II). Also worth noting is the in-kind contribution to NBI in terms of supervision and technical guidance by Nile-TAC members, staff time by national staff attending specialized meetings on NBI issues organized at national level, hosting incoming NBI missions and offering office space for Project Management Units based in the country.

Furthermore, staff time through either secondment or direct hire of coordinators based on relevant sector institutions is increasingly being devoted to NBI’s different programs and projects.  Steady progress has been made in mainstreaming/integrating NBI activities in the national planning and budgeting processes.


Burundi is implementing both NBI’s basin-wide capacity building projects and sub-regional investment projects. The projects are identified and prepared through a participatory process.


Burundi successfully participated in the implementation of the largely completed basin-wide capacity building projects.  The on-going Water Resources Planning and Management (WRPM) project is developing the necessary basin-wide management tools and building capacity for best practices. The Regional Power Trade (RPT) project is building capacity for power trade and development through preparation of the Comprehensive Basin Wide assessment of power options in the Nile Basin.


These projects fall under the Water Resources Development function of NBI. The portfolio of investment projects is categorised into three sectors: Power, Agriculture, and River Basin Management. This represents the priority needs of member countries – for increased access to reliable and cheap electricity, for increased food security and productivity and for increased protection and management of the environment as a basis for livelihoods of the basin populations. The projects active in Burundi are spearheaded, prepared and coordinated by the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) Coordination Unit based in Kigali, Rwanda. Project implementation is undertaken at national level. Burundi is implementing the following investment projects:



Regional Transmission Interconnection Project

Over 769 km of 220 kV and 110 kV transmission lines and associated sub-stations to be constructed, to interconnect electric grids. This will improve access to electricity through increased cross-border sharing of energy and power. The National Project Implementation Unit is located at NELSAP-CU offices.

Overall, the project consists of three Components as follows:

i.) 220 KV Uganda (Bujagali) – Kenya (Lessos) interconnection (256 km);

ii.) 220 KV Uganda (Mbarara) – Rwanda (Kigali) interconnection (172 km);

iii.) Rwanda - Burundi - DRC (Eastern part) (R-B-C) Interconnections:

     a) Ruzizi – Bujumbura (112 km) to Kiliba (19 km)

     b) Ruzizi – Goma (150 km)

     c) Kibuye-Gisenyi-Goma-Kigali about 200 km

     d) 10 KV Rwanda (Kigoma) – Burundi (Rwegura) about 120km.

Regional Rusumo Hydropower and Multipurpose Project

The project will generate an estimated 90 MW to be shared with Rwanda and Tanzania. The power generation infrastructure will be located at Rusumo Falls on the border between Tanzania and Rwanda. The transmission lines will extend from the power generation plant to Gitega in Burundi, Kigali in Rwanda, and Nyakanazi in Tanzania. The project will benefit communities in three provinces of Gitega, Karuzi, Muyinga and Kirundo.


Regional Agricultural Trade and Productivity Project

This project will carry out studies that will highlight potential agriculture and agricultural trade opportunities in the Nile basin countries and beyond. It will also increase knowledge of basin agriculture in NBI institutions as well as promote more efficient and sustainable use of water resources and economically viable investment in agriculture. The Regional Project Management Unit is based in Bujumbura.

River Basin Management

Kagera River Basin Management Project

The project will establish a sustainable framework for the joint management of the water resources of the Kagera basin, in order to prepare for sustainable development oriented investments to improve the living conditions of the people and to protect the environment. The project is operational in 11 provinces in Burundi Gitega, Muramvya, Mwaro, Karuzi, Ruyigi, Kayanza, Ngozi, Muyinga, Cankuzo, Rutana, Kirundo

Bugesera Trans-boundary Water Management Project

This project will help to increase people’s income and improve food security through sustainable trans-boundary water management and development of the Lakes Rweru, Chohoha and Akanyaru marshland. The project covers some communes of Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga provinces.


Through its three core functions of: Building Cooperation, Water Resource Management and Water Resource Development, NBI provides Burundi with:

Building Cooperation

• A platform upon which the Nile Council of Ministers can dialogue on management and development of the shared water resources of the Nile

• A forum for technical exchange of ideas and experiences within water resources, natural resource management, power generation and trade

• Capacity building activities aimed at strengthening the ability of both people and institutions in different water related areas

Water Resource Management

• A mechanism for basin wide exchange of information and prior notification for water resources development

• State-of-the-art technical tools for organizing, storing, analyzing and disseminating data and information collected by NBI programs and projects, including computer based databases with information such as discharge data for sub-basins and watershed, GIS information, biodiversity inventories, stakeholder inventories. The Nile Decision Support System (DSS) tool to facilitate strategic based wide planning and knowledge based policy and decision making. Also interactive CDs and web-based inventories such as the Nile-Information System (Nile-IS).

• Technical support in strengthening national water policy frameworks with a key focus on strengthening the consideration of the trans-boundary dimension.

• Knowledge on the basin’s water resources and monitoring of the basin’s health

• Analysis and scenarios development for sustainable resource management and for planning to maximize development opportunities at basin, sub basin and national levels

• Analytic tools and a shared information system that will enable monitoring and the sustainable management of the basin

• Better understanding and cooperative management of risk for a changing and uncertain climate

Water Resource Development

• Identification of development opportunities focused on power trade and generation, agriculture and river basin management

• Preparation of investment projects which contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction

• Assessing costs and benefits of participation in proposed projects and facilitate agreements on how to share costs and benefits with other beneficiary country.

• Projects implementation support including resource mobilization and preparation of multi-country agreements

• Technical assistance, know-how and expertise in project supervision


Early benefits

• National Water Policy reviewed by NBI

• Ability to share and exchange water resource data with the rest of the NBI member countries, following the adoption of the formal protocol developed under NBI. The interim procedures were adopted by the Nile-COM in July 2009.

• Use of the Decision Support System (DSS), a Basin-wide planning tool which enables decision makers to select the optimum investment planning options and best water resources management practices at national and regional levels.

• Increased human capacity including Post Graduate training in Integrated Water Resource Management.

• Communities have benefited from various small scale projects such as agro-forestry projects in Kabarole and Busoni districts implemented by the Kagera River Basin Management project and the Butihinda Town Water supply project.

• Trans-boundary policy frameworks, policies, guidelines, data and information base for water resources management.

Future Benefits

• Knowledge and information for development of Rweru and Cyohoha Lakes and Akanyaru marshlands leading to better development action with Rwanda

• Increased and stable power supply leading to economic growth and better quality of life of citizens

• Increased food security and productivity.

Indirect benefits

• Ability to overcome associated impacts of climate change that are mostly manifesting through the hydrological cycle. These include floods and droughts that lead to serious water scarcity and food shortage.

• Enhanced Regional cooperation, peace, security and political stability, hence economic growth.

• The annual Nile Basin Football Tournament.

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