Quick reads

Finally clean wash water from coffee beans in Burundi

Chris Simoens
04 June 2019
Your cup of coffee may pollute the environment! After all, washing and de-pulping coffee cherries contaminates the soil and water table. This is a major problem in Burundi. Fortunately, Elie Nyerere is looking for a solution, with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation.


We don't think about it, but our daily cup of coffee is a big consumer of water. More than that, it may simply pollute the environment. At least that’s the case in Burundi. Washing and de-pulping coffee cherries generates organic material that is not easily degradable and pollute the soil and water tables. These pollutants also use up the oxygen in rivers and streams that is needed by fauna and flora. Moreover, the polluted water has become unsuitable for consumption and even for irrigation.

No less than 580,000 households in Burundi – out of 1.6 million altogether – are dependent on coffee growing for survival. Elie Nyerere, alumnus of the University of Liège, wants to solve the environmental problem at all costs. It is often considered as a losing battle, but with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation, great progress was already achieved.

Find out about his fascinating story on the website of the King Baudouin Foundation: A degree leading to restoration of the environment in the hills of Burundi.


Burundi Coffee Environment Pollution
Next article 12 reasons why forests are important