Use of chemical fertilizers exacerbates environment pollution in Burundi, activist says

Since 2012, Burundians have doubled the amount of chemical fertilizers used per hectare, which has exacerbated environmental pollution, said Tharcisse Ndayizeye, an environmental activist also member of the Burundian Observatory of Water and Sanitation. It was on the occasion of the World Environment Day celebrated each June 5th.

A crop field at Giheta commune of Gitega Province

Mr Ndayizeye indicates that Burundian farmers have increased the quantity of chemical fertilizers used since 2012 from 3 kg to 8 kg per hectare to date, following the sensitization on the increase in agricultural production made by the government and its partners in order to alleviate famine in the country.

He explains that the chemical fertilizers namely diammonium phosphate (DAP), potassium chloride (KCL form) and NPK currently used in Burundi pollute the environment. He calls on the government to sensitize the population to the use organic fertilizers which is a means of enriching the soil and improving agricultural yield without polluting the environment.

According to the activist, the rapid population growth is a major hindrance to the environmental protection as the government must develop possible means to increase agricultural production.

Epimery Nibizi, Director of Environment says the harmful consequences to the environment caused by the use of chemical fertilizers are not yet observed.
“Given the amount of chemical fertilizers used in the country, the situation is not alarming,” says Nibizi arguing that the entire Burundian population can use organic fertilizers only. “Farmers use chemical fertilizers to complement organic ones,” adds Nibizi.