Burundi

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ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT

HISTORY

DEMOGRAPHY

SOCIO-ECONOMICAL CONTEXT

Burundi is a small country in Central Africa, devastated by years of conflict and political turmoil. Ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis in the mid-1990s caused the death of an estimated 300,000 people. Over an 11-year period, more than 1 million people became refugees—primarily in neighboring Tanzania—or were internally displaced. Less than half have returned home. Burundi has also become the recipient of nearly 50,000 refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Following reconciliation efforts between Hutus and Tutsis, the country is gradually regaining stability, and refugees have begun to return home. However, with limited natural resources and industry and 90% of the population dependent on subsistence farming, Burundi’s troubles are far from over, and it remains among the poorest ten nations in the world. (Habitat for Humanity)

HABITAT

HISTORY OF CITIES – HERITAGE

Source: Interview with Mr. Simbananive, Professor of Psychology

– Development in connection with the civil war of 1993

Cities are composed of old urban centers, virtually unchanged since the country’s independence and new neighborhoods that are growing the urbanized area. For example, Bujumbura had only 300,000 inhabitants before 1993 and now has about 800 miles!

This urban expansion is related to the war that has ravaged Burundi (1993-1994): the people who lived in the country have settled in cities because it was the only way for them to survive as agricultural land had been destroyed. This was especially the case for young people, found in neighborhoods such as Kinama or KAMENGE.

“It is therefore the return movements that shape the spatial distribution of population and, increasingly, forms of settlement.” Specifically, people are moving to new villages created by the Burundian government to welcome refugees and / or existing villages, which creates an increase in rural villages. (1)

– A very low urbanization

According to the e-geopolis, “Burundi is one of the least urbanized countries in the world, with only 10% of its population living in an urban area of 10,000 or more inhabitants. Sub-urbanization of this area is even more striking when put aside his capital. The challenge for the future of urbanization in this country is in a completely different register than that suggested these indicators. Indeed, the particularity of Burundi lies in the extreme dispersion of the traditional settlement, combined with rural densities among the highest in Africa. These conditions, which have limited the emergence of agglomeration at least into the 1980s, could abruptly create the opposite effect, causing a massive urbanization comparable to that observed in Western Kenya today. Spatial diffusion of the building leads to a spectacular linearization habitat spaced but traditionally gathers today along the few roads the country ”(1)

– Policy incentives to create its housing

The Government of Burundi takes some time for an incentive policy that each has its seat, forcing everyone who wants to get married to have a house “sustainable” for his family.

URBAN HOUSING

The cities are highly extended, especially after the civil wars of 1993-1994, and living the phenomenon of urban sprawl. Except in older neighborhoods, residents have no address and must identify itself with other surrounding locations (eg a shop, a crossroads, a school …). In Burundi, the neighborhood councils are called “Tips Hills”.

Urban residents are food dependence vis-à-vis campaigns. This is probably one of the greatest challenges facing the country in the coming years. In addition, unlike other countries, there are no cities in Burundi small gardens allow people to make a bit of culture urban agriculture.

RURAL HOUSING

Traditional housing is made of wooden huts and straw, but it is gradually replaced by brick house (ADOBE – system of bricks raw or cooked). the roofs are made of tin, clay or tile.

Depending on the region, the habitat has different characteristics. There are, for example, yet many traditional huts on the High Plateau.

This change is not due to chance. It took place under the leadership of several phenomena:   * Herbs chosen to achieve the huts often came marshes. Now they are becoming increasingly rare because these spaces are now reserved for intensive agriculture, such as the potato.   * In addition, younger generations prefer living spaces are well defined. This is possible with more brick houses with straw huts.   * The construction methods have also evolved. The huts were once built in extended families, collectively. Brick houses are built using “professional” construction, which is possible because families are employed and can therefore pay this professional.   * Finally, with the new possibilities in terms of mobility, it is obvious that it is now possible to import materials that do not grow there. This is the case of sheets that can be transported to the construction of the house.

RIGHT TO HOUSING

FORCED EVICTION

LAND RIGHTS

– THE COMMON LAW RELATING TO REAL PROPERTY

Source: Interview with Mr. Simbananive, Professor of Psychology

In Burundi, the land belonged to the ancestors of the family. It is therefore forbidden to sell his land. But this has not only advantages because, in the absence of documents proving this property, there are still means to seize land from someone. Historically, it is said that every family has its “hill”, defined by geophysical factors (eg, water, wood …). It is therefore prohibited to sell the land of his ancestors, unless there are no takers, even in the extended family.

The situation in the city is a little different since titles are given to urban dwellers.

It is estimated that today the most important conflicts that justice has to be solved are those related to land conflicts.

– URBAN DIMENSION

Source: Interview with Mr. Simbananive, Professor of Psychology

There is no master plan. Can be found in the same residential area, next to each other a multi-storey homes and ground floor.

Planning departments imposes nothing. One can easily modify a construction as desired. There is great freedom in this regard. But the downside is that even if someone has proof of ownership on land, another person can easily take it if it has a certain power. Laws exist, but it is normal not to enforce the laws.

LAND GRABBING

VULNERABLE GROUPS

SOME INTERESTING PRACTICES

Social and economic aspects

HOUSING MARKET

QUALITY OF HOUSING

INFORMAL HOUSING / SLUM / HOMELESS

ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic

Environmental aspects

Bibliography & Sitography

  1. Country file of Burundi on the e-Geopolis website

MAJOR PROBLEMS BY CIVIL SOCIETY

CLAIMS MAJOR CIVIL SOCIETY

CIVIL SOCIETY ACTORS

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