Submitted by on 10 November 2016

Mrs. Butoyi Pascasie, a PHE champion in Bisoro Commune, Burundi, takes round a delegation of other PHE Champions to her home  

LVBC Integrated Projects Contribute to Solving Household PHE Challenges in Burundi.

  “I have not bought vegetables for the last 6 months,” Mrs. Butoyi Pascasie, a resident of Bisoro Commune, Mwaro District, Gitega province Burundi testified to LVBC Team on October 19, 2016 while on Population Health Environment (PHE) Monitoring Mission, in Burundi. Pascasie’s story, which she passionately narrates is attributed to mindset change driven by PHE champions who sensitized 162 households Dushigikirane Community Driven Development (CDD). CDD is one of the components of Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project phase two (LVEMP II) regionally coordinated by Lake Victoria and implemented by 5 EAC Partner States. PHE Champions play a critical role in integrating Population, Health and Environment into existing LVBC Programmes and Projects in EAC Partner States. PHE Regional Coordinating Team triggers the integration of PHE into programmes and projects. From the outset, the PHE Champions in Burundi had many deliverables, but one stood out strongly: changing mindset for improved household health, food security, better hygiene and respect to nature environment through integrated Population, Health, and Environment (PHE). Pascasie’s home is a stone throw away from the demonstration site leased out by the Dushigikirane CDD. From her narration of the story, she got curious to know what the CDD members used to do at the site every day and one day, in January 2016, she passed by.  

“I was warmly welcomed by Ms. Gloriose Nduwimana, one of the PHE champions and a member of the Dushigikirane CDD,”she said

Since then, “members the PHE champions made it a habit to always pass by her home when coming to their site to carry out their usual activities of watering their tree seedlings, tending the kitchen garden, checking their fodder, tilling their contour, and many more.” The discourse between the PHE champions and Pascasie was ‘intriguing and inviting’. “In February, 2016, I started with putting up a kitchen garden in front of my house,” said Mrs. Pascasie. “My husband got interested too when she saw me putting this up and she joined to help. I planted cabbages, tomatoes, and kales all on a very small piece of land. We had been informed of the need for a kitchen garden by PHE champions.” Mrs. Pascasie has been sensitized and exposed to a number of components of Population, Health, and Environment and she has since then adopted most of these. When you get to her home, you are invited by the beautifully tended kitchen garden with freshly sprouting potatoes, freshly looking cabbages, kales and other indigenous vegetables. Advancing into her home, you find a well-kept goat, male goat, very healthy looking. A well-made dish rack invited you to the back of the house where she has planted agroforestry trees and done fodder on contours towards the valley at the back of her homestead. “My first harvest of cabbages shocked me,” Mrs. Pascasie said. “I harvested one cabbage that weighed 5.5 kilograms something that I had never seen since I was born. I have never bought vegetables, tomatoes, and onions for our family consumption since I started practicing PHE.”  

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