The Importance of Environmental Clubs in Burundian Schools

07 June 2023


As part of the implementation of the Multi-Year Program for the Resilience of the Education System in Burundi (PPR), JRS trained 81 teachers (1 per school) from the 2 communes of Makamba in order to strengthen them on environmental issues, the creation and operation of environmental clubs and in turn to be able to accompany the students of their commune to create environmental clubs in their school and support them during their activities.

David KIZA NUNDA, Director of ECOFO Nyabutare II

In the follow-up conducted by JRS, we are in the DCE Nyanza-Lac, Nyabutare II Fundamental School where we met and exchanged with the Director, the supervisor, and a student member of the club at this school: they give us testimonials.

The Director David KIZA NUNDA, acknowledges that the environmental club exists and that it is functional from the moment JRS trained focal point supervisors. He shares that the club has already carried out a lot of activities, including the planting of anti-erosion hedges and tracing of contours in the school gardens available to the school.

For now, he hopes that the surrounding population will benefit from this experience of the students. He points out that this school faces several challenges including the collapse of the latrine and a lot of runoff water that damages the school the most.

He does not hide his satisfaction since according to him the protection of the environment in the municipality of Nyanza Lac should be more supported since this municipality has a lot of population that cuts too many trees for heating and construction, while the initiatives to plant the others are minimal. He hopes that these children will become torchbearers in their families to initiate this project.

Jean Bosco NDAYISHIMIYE, Supervisor of the environmental club at ECOFO NYABUTARE II

Jean Bosco NDAYISHIMIYE is an English teacher and supervisor of the environmental club at ECOFO Nyabutare II. Here he tells us about his experience after training in disaster risk reduction and environmental protection.

“After completing the training on environmental protection and the importance of environmental clubs in schools, I was deeply touched and challenged to act directly. We have already formed a club of twelve girls and thirteen boys, although the whole school wants to participate as members of the club. We already planted anti-erosion hedges, and we plan to plant trees all around the school. The training was beneficial because prior to the class we only understood some of the concepts of the environment. But now with education, we learned about the impact of climate change on the school’s infrastructure and the importance of maintenance.”

Most of the population is unaware of the environment, and some want to act when a disaster occurs, the clubs are a centre for disaster prevention and we are lucky to have it at our school, thank you.
Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye, Supervisor of the environmental club at ECOFO NYABUTARE II

NIMUBONA Esla is a 17 year old student in the eighth grade at Nyabutare II Primary School, is a member of the environment club. He tells us that he is proud to be a member of the club and that he was sensitized by his supervisor on his return from the training organized by JRS.

“Initially, we studied biology that it is thanks to trees that we get rain, that erosion has serious consequences on nature, now we see it and we experiment ourselves in the club. Our gardens are currently good and protected and we hope to harvest more because erosion is no more. I even think that the strong wind that took us out of the classroom when it rained will not come back.”

“In June, there are plans to start setting up nurseries to plant at least 4,000 trees at this school.”

He ended by suggesting that JRS increase efforts to mentor more students in these clubs which is beneficial.