I have had 38 views of my blog today, from the country of Burundi. I know the name of course, but very little about the country.
Here is a map showing where it is on that vast continent.
Some countries just tend to get overlooked. If there is no war, no catastrophic disease, and no contentious political issues, they are easily tuned out of our consciousness.
In my case, that has surely happened to Burundi.
I looked up a few snippets of information about the country.
The Twa, Hutu and Tutsi peoples have lived in Burundi for at least 500 years. For more than 200 of those years, Burundi was an independent kingdom, until the beginning of the 20th century, when Germany colonised the region. After the First World War and Germany’s defeat, it ceded the territory to Belgium
Burundi remains primarily a rural society, with just 13.4% of the population living in urban areas in 2019.
One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi’s land is used mostly for subsistence agricultural and grazing, which has led to deforestation, soil erosion and habitat loss. As of 2005 the country was almost completely deforested, with less than 6% of its land covered by trees and over half of that being commercial plantations. In addition to poverty, Burundians often have to deal with corruption, weak infrastructure, poor access to health and education services, and hunger. Burundi is densely populated and many young people emigrate in search of opportunities elsewhere. The World Happiness Report 2018 ranked Burundi as the world’s least happy nation with a rank of 156.
Sadly, it doesn’t sound like the greatest place to live, far from it. But it is now back on my radar, thanks to blogging, and a resident who viewed my blog today.