Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

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Association of Villager and Community Development (AVEDEC)

Association of Villager and Community  Development

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AVEDEC (Association of Villager and Community  Development), a longstanding partner of ANEW, has been working to improve people’s lives in Burundi for over ten years. They are involved in many areas of community development from building infrastructure such as water points and schools, training local artisans and technicians, promoting good governance and protecting the environment through the integrated management of water resources.
 
Through ANEW, AVEDEC has represented Burundian civil society in various international events as well as lobbying and advocacy activities. In 2009, they took part in the civil society pre-meeting that took place before the African Union Heads of State meeting on agriculture and economic growth in Libya where participants created a joint civil society statement urging governments and their partners in development to commit to achieving the
MDG target on sanitation.
 
Also in 2009, convinced of the need to work in synergy despite the limited number of players in the field of water and sanitation, AVEDEC led efforts to create a national network in Burundi with ANEW’s support.
 
In partnership with local stakeholders (including local government, the municipal water agency and school directors), AVEDEC has rehabilitated drinking water systems and built many water points sources and latrines in rural schools in Bugendana. It has supported the community to manage their water supplies, trained community leaders, conducted awareness-raising sessions and – a unique initiative in Burundi – built a training centre for the hygiene and sanitation promotion.

AVEDEC believes that only an integrated approach such as this will allow a real development in the long term. Specializing in water, sanitation and hygiene, AVEDEC plays a mediator role between the demands of communities in Burundi, the services of the state and donors. Since inception, it has emphasized community based participatory approach throughout the full cycle of each project – from conception to final evaluation to promote ownership of the outcomes by the beneficiary population and ensure sustainability.
 
AVEDEC provides expert technical and organizational assistance in fundraising and handles the supply of imported materials but it is the community that decides which infrastructure to develop as well as providing local materials (sand, stones) and unskilled labour. Each project is accompanied by training and awareness campaigns.

In one of its approaches - the Child Trainer (or “Child to Child”) approach - AVEDEC recognises the key role children can play in promoting hygiene messages by spreading them amongst other children and their family.

Women also play key role as they are usually the person responsible for fetching water and managing water and sanitation in households. Unfortunately, they are often poorly represented in the water community meetings and posts which is why AVEDEC pays great attention to giving women a voice in its activities and ensures a water management committee has at least two women for every three to five members.

Water in Burundi

VEDEC provides expert technical and organizational assistance in fundraising and handles the supply of imported materials but it is the community that decides
which infrastructure to develop as well as providing local materials (sand, stones) and unskilled labour. Each roject is accompanied by training and awareness campaigns.

In one of its approaches - the Child Trainer (or “Child to Child”) approach - AVEDEC recognises the key role children can play in promoting hygiene messages by spreading them amongst other children and their family. Women also play key role as they are usually the person responsible for fetching water and managing water and sanitation in households. Unfortunately, they are often poorly represented in the water community meetings and posts which is why AVEDEC pays great attention to giving women a voice in its activities and ensures a water management committee has at least two women for every three to five members.

Burundi, a small country in the heart of the African Great Lakes, is a country that is rebuilding following more than 10 years of crisis. The population is very poor and there is very little access to water or basic services due to the lack of social infrastructure, which was largely destroyed during the war. With an average rainfall of around 1500 mm per year and thousands of springs around the country, Burundi does not suffer from a water shortage yet water and microbial diseases are the leading causes of mortality especially among children under five.

Find out more, contact AVEDEC on through the ANEW network by emailing info@anewafrica.net

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