Home to the southernmost source of the Nile, Burundi with a land area of 27,834 square kilometers is also the smallest country in the Nile Basin. The Nile Basin, in fact, is centrally important to the strength of Burundi’s economy. About 49 percent of the country lies in the Nile Basin (the other part lies in the Congo River Basin), and 59 percent of the population, which is almost entirely agricultural. The land is generally fertile, but Burundi is now coming to grips with years of intensive farming, a dense population and environmental degradation. Overgrazing and deforestation have made erosion on the hillsides a critical problem, and the waterways are filling with silt. Moreover, climate change is making rainfall unpredictable, water quality is declining under the pressures of a rapidly growing population, and drought and desertification are becoming problems in some parts of the country. These issues among others have made the Nile Cooperation important to Burundi.
Burundi and the Nile Basin Initiative: Benefits of cooperation