Rehabilitation of irrigated schemes in Northern Imbo Plain

Strengthening the agricultural potential of a highly fertile area by rehabilitating and extending its irrigation networks

Belgium is supporting Burundi through several development aid programmes, including PAIOSA, which focuses on agricultural issues and the fight against poverty.

As part of this programme, our subsidiary SHER and Artelia Madagascar have provided complete project management for the rehabilitation of the Imbo Nord irrigation schemes in Burundi. This operation has led to a very substantial increase in agricultural production in the region¹.

¹+50% ?

>3,000 ha

restored and newly irrigated

>400 km

of canals modernised and created


infrastructures completed


Supported by the Kingdom of Belgium, the Programme d’appui institutionnel et opérationnel au secteur agricole (PAIOSA) is helping the government of Burundi to implement policies aimed at promoting economic growth and offering rural populations opportunities to escape poverty. SHER, an Artelia subsidiary, has contributed to rehabilitate the irrigated perimeters of Imbo Nord, a highly productive agricultural area for both food and industrial crops. Our teams were involved from the preliminary studies (2012) to the supervision of works (2017-2022), which was largely carried out by Artelia Madagascar.

The area involved (2,703 ha), around the towns of Rugombo and Buganda at the upstream end of the Ruzizi plain, included facilities in a very poor condition that were completely rehabilitated. The old network (31.5 km) has been modernised to increase its transit capacity. A new secondary (43.7 km) and tertiary (76.2 km) network equipped with sprinkler canals (256.6 km) was built to reorganise water distribution throughout the area. The drainage network was also reorganised and extended over 160 km. In all, 1,960 structures (regulation and distribution) and 66 gabion sills were built. Nearly 30 km of tracks and 300 crossing structures were also built, as well as crop management, processing and storage facilities (sheds). These have been designed on a modular system to adapt to the production of the various irrigated sectors.