Adaptation Strategies Through Mining Compensation in Mabayi Commune, Burundi

  •  Egide GACIYUBWENGE    
  •  Philippe BURNY    
  •  Pierre Claver BITAMA    


One of main effects of mining on rural agriculture is the loss of farmland by households living near mining sites. In return, these households should receive compensation. This compensation, if well invested, may lead to improved livelihoods for these farming households. If not, these households may find their livelihoods deteriorating if the compensation is not properly managed. This paper aims to analyze household compensation investment strategies in Mabayi commune (Burundi) and their effects on the livelihoods of households affected by mining activities. A survey of 140 households, interviews with key informants, and observations were conducted in July and August 2022 on Gahoma and Ruhororo hills where foreign company ‘‘Tanganyika Mining Burundi (TMB)’’ and local cooperative ‘‘Dukorere Hamwe Dusoze Ikivi (DHDI)’’ were carrying out their activities respectively since December 2018, in Mabayi commune. Results showed that 17 out of 20 households (85%) and 13 out of 17 households (76.5%) had invested their compensation well, in Gahoma and Ruhororo hills respectively. They had improved or maintained their overall quantity of agricultural production, and improved their livelihoods in general. On other hand, 3 households (15%) and 4 households (23.5%) had invested their compensation inappropriately, in Gahoma and Ruhororo respectively. They had suffered reduction in their overall quantity of agricultural production, and experienced deterioration of their livelihoods in general. Fair and up-front compensation for households, assistance in how to invest compensation, capacity-building in agriculture and alternative activities, should maximize opportunities for improved livelihoods. The mining company and cooperative must also comply with environmental regulations.

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