Burundian rural women confronted with several problems

In the framework of the celebration of the International Day of Rural Women, Burundian women living in Muyira locality in Kanyosha municipality of Bujumbura province say poverty in households and lack of capital to run their own businesses are among the many problems they are faced with in their daily lives.

A woman cultivating in Muyira locality in Bujumbura province

At 10 a.m. in Muyira locality, Espérance Bampanzamaso, a thirty five-year-old widow, carries a basket full of avocadoes and a child on her back. On her way to Bujumbura city to sell the fruits alongside her son, she looks tired.

“As a widow and mother of eight, it is very difficult to take care of my children,” she says, adding that she can hardly get food, clothes and school materials for all her children.
Mrs. Bampanzamaso says her only income generating activity is selling avocadoes in Bujumbura city, a business with many challenges and risks as she puts it.

“I am sometimes arrested, jailed by the police in Bujumbura city. My children are likely to die of hunger if I stop selling fruits in the city,” she says.

This rural woman and head of the family also says her capital to run a business is very small. “I do not have a plot of land to mortgage for a bank loan,” she adds.
She calls on the government of Burundi and whoever may help to provide her with a capital to grow her business to keep her family alive.

In the same locality, two other women are growing cassava. They say rural women especially farmers encounter several problems.

“I don’t have enough space to grow crops,” says Valerie Ntamavukiro, a mother of nine children whose husband died in 2002, adding that she must rent a piece of land to cultivate, she adds.
This sixty six-year-old woman says her house has been damaged. “Neighbors helped me to build another one but I do not have money to buy metal sheets to cover it,” she adds.
Mrs. Ntamavukiro calls on the government of Burundi to build her a strong house and give her a plot of land where she can grow crops.

“Poverty is the main challenge I face in my daily life,” says a pregnant woman.
This mother of six adds that she can hardly feed her children while her husband is jobless. “I work alone to satisfy the needs of the family,” she says.

She also says she tried twice to use contraceptive methods to limit births in vain.
In the context of the celebration of the international day of rural women, Martin Nivyabandi, Burundian Minister of Human Rights has said rural women play an important role in the development of the country.
“They have taken economic measures to develop themselves and the country while keeping the cultural values of the country,” he said.

The International Day of Rural Women which is celebrated on October 15 every year will be celebrated in Burundi on October 18 under the theme: “Support rural women’s access to sustainable infrastructure and social protection services”.