United Nations Waste Incinerator Operation in Burundi (ONUB)

The United Nations Waste Incinerator Operation in Burundi (ONUB) was a peacekeeping mission tasked with providing security and ensuring the safe operation of waste incinerators in Burundi, a nation grappling with immense post-conflict environmental challenges. The mission was a critical component of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Burundi (UNAMIB) from 2004 to 2007.


Burundi faced severe environmental challenges following the civil war, with overflowing landfills and widespread open burning of waste posing serious threats to public health and the environment. In response, the international community, through UNAMIB, implemented a comprehensive waste management program that included the construction and operation of modern waste incinerators in the capital, Gitega, and other major towns.

Mission Mandate:

The ONUB mission was primarily responsible for:

  • Protecting the safety and security of the waste incineration facilities.
  • Ensuring proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials generated during the incineration process.
  • Training Burundian authorities and police in waste management and security procedures.
  • Supporting local communities in waste collection and composting initiatives.


  • Established secure and efficient waste incineration systems, significantly reducing open burning.
  • Developed training programs for Burundian counterparts in waste management and security.
  • Supported the creation of a national waste management policy and regulatory framework.
  • Established partnerships with local NGOs to enhance sustainability and community engagement.


  • Limited resources and infrastructure.
  • High levels of poverty and limited access to technology.
  • Complex political and social dynamics in the country.


The ONUB mission concluded in 2007 when the Burundian government took over the responsibility for the waste management program. The UN continued to provide technical assistance and funding for the program in its initial stages.


The ONUB mission made a significant contribution to improving environmental health and safety in Burundi. The introduction of modern waste management practices helped to mitigate the negative impacts of waste on public health and the environment.


1. What was the primary objective of the ONUB mission?

  • The mission’s primary objective was to ensure the safe operation of waste incinerators and reduce open burning of waste.

2. When did the ONUB mission take place?

  • The mission operated from 2004 to 2007.

3. What was the impact of the ONUB mission?

  • The mission significantly reduced open burning of waste, improved air quality, and established sustainable waste management practices in Burundi.

4. Why was the ONUB mission established?

  • The mission was established to address the severe environmental challenges faced by Burundi following the civil war.

5. Who was responsible for the implementation of the waste management program?

  • The program was implemented in collaboration between the United Nations and the Burundian government.


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