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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 29 MAY 2018

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Tuesday 29 May 2018 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Bill on the Establishment, Delimitation of Buhayira Commune and delimitation of the Murwi Commune in Cibitoke Province, presented by the Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Training and Local Development.

Cibitoke Province is made up of six communes, including the Murwi Commune, which includes six zones, including Buhayira located at 70 km (round trip) from the chief town of Murwi Commune. The geographical location of the chief town of Murwi Commune deprives the population of Buhayira of access to the goods and services of the Central Administration they really need.

In February 2015, as the Head of State visited the Commune of Murwi, the people of Buhayira raised this issue, and advocated for the creation of the new Buhayira Commune, a request that met the assent of the President of the Republic. For their part, the Murwi Municipal Council and a Technical Commission set up for this purpose by the Ministry analyzed the request and found it relevant.

The present Bill therefore creates this new commune of Buhayira to better supervise the population and promote its development especially that the new Commune has sufficient potential and resources for its survival. In addition, the Commune is the basic administrative entity for the economic and social development of its population.
The Bill was endorsed with slight amendments.

2. Draft Decree on the creation, mission, organization and functioning of the National Steering Committee of the National Reforestation Project "Ewe Burundi urambaye", presented by the Services of the Presidency of the Republic.

The natural forests that covered 30 to 50% of Burundian territory in the past have gone down so that currently only about 6.6% remains. The main causes of this deforestation are, among other things, excessive population growth, excessive land clearing and inappropriate land management practices.

However, the importance of trees in landscapes and that of forests in general is undeniable because more than 95% of the energy consumed by households comes from wood. Forests also provide ecosystem services such as water cycle regulation, microclimates for agriculture, watershed protection and especially soil erosion prevention.

As a consequence of this deforestation, Burundi is facing reduced forest cover, loss of biodiversity, erosion of arable land, landslides causing the deterioration of roads, as well as other natural disasters.

Aware of the dangers of this deforestation, the Burundian authorities at the highest level initiated the national reforestation project called "Ewe Burundi urambaye", literally "well-dressed Burundi" to restore forests across Burundi. This project, which wills last 7 years, will be conducted in parallel with other reforestation projects initiated by other administrative entities, and it will be carried out mainly by members of the Defense and Security Forces.

The present project establishes a legal operating framework for the Steering Committee, which will be a body responsible for monitoring all activities related to the implementation of this project and for drawing up the guidelines to be followed.
The project was adopted with some amendments.

3. Bill on Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of Grant Agreement No. D276-BI for the financing of the Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project between the Republic of Burundi and the International Development Association (IDA) signed in Bujumbura on May 24, 2018, presented by the Minister Environment, Agriculture and Livestock.

This US 30-million grant from the International Development Association aims to restore land productivity in targeted degraded landscapes and to provide an immediate and effective response in the event of a crisis or an eligible emergency situation.

The project will be carried out in two pilot communes namely Isare of Bujumbura Province and Buhinyuza of Muyinga Province. It will also support development activities around the parks of Ruvubu, Kibira and the Bururi Nature Reserve. The project will last 5 years.
The Bill has been adopted.

4. Under the Any Other Business Section, the Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Training and Local Development gave an update on the conduct of the constitutional referendum that took place on May 17, 2018 with a positive mention over the role played by the administration in the smooth running of this referendum.

The Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training informed the Council about school drop-out and took the opportunity to report cases of cheating where some school principals inflate the figures of enrollments in their schools to benefit from more subsidies.

Finally the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS has rubbished the rumors of the presence of the Ebola virus in Burundi indicating that the investigations made in all the health structures have shown that no suspicious case has been registered so far in Burundi.

Done at Bujumbura, May 30, 2018

Philippe NZOBONARIBA
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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