After visiting the feeding centres in Gitega, we went to a health facility.   This centre, run by the Church, is one of the nicest I’ve been in.


I was interested that we had a few comments from our group regarding how nice it was – and that maybe we could see a more distressed clinic (of which there are many…many).IMG_1165

But I think it’s good to see what is possible too.  The administrator here estimated that this place cost several thousand USD / month to keep running.  It’s not much, knowing the types of serices proided.


And sure – it wasn’t the most run down or beat-up place – but it points to a certain future which we should keep in mind and work towards (note all the phones being charged…every electrical outlet had a phone plugged in, charging away.  Power is the greatest need.


Here, Evan looks at a bar of ready-t-use therapeutic food


After the health centre, we went to visit a village – and a whole community – which had built 7,000 latrines in the last year.  Each latrine was connected to a household, and they were very proud of their work.


This was part of a larger actionAid project – but the conceptualization, location of latrines, and implementation was done (and paid for) by the villagers.IMG_1176

They told us that their biggest challenges were

1) getting other communities to take up the same model

2) basic (hardware) tools for getting the water closer to the village and

3) some ways to show that the latrines were having a positive health effect (i.e. an evaluation instrument to link latrines to improved health outcomes)  IMG_1177

They want to extend this practice to other “hills” around them.


These tiles are made in the village


There is no smell at all in the latrine


Here is a simple sink, which you don’t have to touch with your hands (food-pedal operated)


Here is a video of this moment:

[vimeo 61508667 w=500 h=281]

Evan and Emeline duck into a latrine…


..and deem it good.


Halfway through our tour, heavy rain started coming down.  We all rushed for shelterIMG_1191

Which was in a fairly large building – kindly shared with us by the community


Where we stayed for about half an hour until the rain let up a bit…


And we were on our way.


Christopher Fabian

Gitega, Burundi, 8 March, 2013)

(posted from Amsterdam, 11 March, 2013)