Emergency Agriculture Assistance for Internally displaced people

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Emergency agriculture Assistance to IDPs (women) and host communities (BONAVADA-Buea Municipality) affected by the ongoing insurgency in the South West Region of Cameroon

Project Location:  Buea Municipality, South West Region Cameroon

Introduction

The ongoing armed conflict in the English speaking regions of Cameroon have left the people especially women and childrenof the South West Region in desperation. Securing livelihood and integrating in host communities by internally displaced persons especially women can be very challenging adding pressure to an already difficult context. In addition to being forced to leave their homes, and became internally displaced persons (IDPs) in other communities, thousands are at risk of starvation and depravation. With this project, UAC intends to help safe hundreds of women and families in the Buea Municipality who are directly affected by the ongoing conflict through the introduction of emergency agriculturefor them to survive.

Majority population in severely conflict affected areas what is considered red zones today has been forced to flee from their homes, and many people have been displaced multiple times, reducing their resilience and testing their coping strategies.

In the Buea Municipality – South West Region of Cameroon which is relatively calm and peaceful, over two thousand five hundred internally displaced persons are in need of urgent, life-saving humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing Aglophone crisis (Separatist activities). Many of them lost all their assets (internally displaced persons) and some are struggling to survive with food aid from their host communities.

Caught between battles they did not want, citizens in this region have been struck heaviest by these internal conflicts. In addition, COVID-19, a global pandemic, has arisen which compounded the situation. They are forced to leave their homes to less affected communities such as Buea with limited resources to survive.

In order to provide a way out of the cyclical patterns of dependency on food assistance from host communities and well-wishers, United Action for Children-UAC intends to implement an agricultural project known as Emergency Agricultureproject for IDPS in Buea where thousands have relocated to or are found.

By assisting IDPsthrough the project activities, will allow them and hundreds of children to survive and then restart their new lives in meaningful ways. This project therefore will contribute to the lifesaving mission and also support the rebuilding work.

In this emergency context, the speed of reaction is crucial. As a development organization, UAC did not wait to go where assistance is most needed, to conduct need assessment and analysis within the affected communities. This helped to plan effectively and efficiently its initiatives to address food emergencies for the neediest people like women, and children’s headed households.

In the field, UAC has been involved in all the food security, resilience and livelihood related projects in the community, which target to increase the resilience of livelihood to threats and crisis, to build the resilience and food security of IDPs, host communities and enhance their capacity to cope from threats and crisis.

Since the crisis began in 2016, UAC has been involved in trying to assist the target population with emergency relief items such as clothes, food items, hygiene kits among others but at moment wants to move from handouts to a more sustainable approach through the Emergency Agriculture and Livestock project –restoring the agricultural livelihood of the conflict –affected people through agricultural/livestock input distribution, technical support, and provision of micro gardening and poultry grants.

Overall objective

To empower 50 selected IDP households (women) for improved incomes and livelihoods through agricultural production.

Specific Objectives

  • Provide agriculture livelihoods option for selected IDPs  in Buea Municipality and build their capacity for improved productivity along selected crop and vegetables (Maize, groundnut, cabbage, tomatoes,cocoyam, yams, plantains, cassava, bananaetc.) value chains.
  • Enhance food/nutrition security mechanisms for the IDPs and host community households through agronomic trainings and agriculture extension services, with a specific emphasis on crop/vegetable/grain production/processing/storage and market access improvement.

 Activities

  • Distribution of seeds (okra, tomato, onion, amaranth, cassava cuttings, yam seedlings, cocoyam suckers, plantain suckers, maize seeds cabbage, local vegetable seeds and carrot) and fertilizer to 50 beneficiary households.
  • Distribution of chicks and feed.
  • Establish 01 farmer field schools (FFS) benefiting 500 farmers across Buea and train beneficiaries on agricultural practices, including general crop management, modernfertilizer application, post-harvest management, rearing of chickens, composting and pest management.
  • Conduct a refresher training for 04 FFS facilitators on how to support conflict-affected farmers in the communities and to manage at least one FFS per facilitator.
  • Distribute farm tools and equipment
  • Organize capacity building trainings on small scale agriculture- crop/vegetable farming and entrepreneurship skills for 500 households
  • Enable IDPs specifically women to decrease their negative coping strategies and help them access a more sustainable income.

 

One of the most important element of the project is equal participation of all women, and both IDPs and host communities. UAC shall make sure that all beneficiaries have equal access to opportunities, and also support different actors coming together during the capacity building trainings to learn together and share their experiences with each other. This is one of the important step of creating social cohesion among communities.

UAC shall also attach importance to all women participation but without undermining social texture and traditions by providing female and child friendly environment.

Impact:

  • Produceabout 1880tons of vegetables and 75 tons of plantains.
  • Improve households’ agricultural production, nutrition and access to food.
  • Support 500 IDPs in Buea, in order for them to live their own lives and enhance the diversification of their diets.
  • Create a link between local producers in host communities and beneficiaries, providing a platform for farmers to sell their products, while enhancing the nutrition and food security of displaced families and strengthening social cohesion.

Target Group

500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in the Buea Municipality

 Final beneficiaries

IDPs, their households and Host Communities

 

                   Summary of main project activities

  • Project introduction/planning and staff mobilization
  • Selection and registration of beneficiaries data
  • Procurement of inputs and tools
  • Pre-season training
  • Distribution of inputs (improved seeds, farm tools/equipment, chemicals, fertilizer and chicks)
  • In-season training
  • Post-harvest training
  • Conduct monitoring and evaluation all through the project cycle
  • Foster access to agricultural tools and coping mechanism between the IDPs and host community households geared towards maximizing land use and access thereof.

 

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