A new irrigation scheme and some fresh vegetables. That sounds simple but that could be the bedrock to ensuring that thousands of people do not go hungry and malnourished. The World Foood Programme (WFP) and its partners in Chad are increasingly working on such projects as part of food assistance for asset creation (FFA) activities to help people , including refugees, work towards a time of Zero Hunger.
In Farchana, located about 1,000 km from the Chadian capital N’Djamena , more than 30,000 people are involved in a series of activities supported by the German government through WFP to support self-reliance.
In this region of Chad which hosts several refugees, these projects do not only build resilience through new wells, gardens and fields; they also contribute to tighten bonds between communities.
“When refugees arrived more than 10 years ago we didn’t know that humanitarian organizations were going to help,” says Adam Haroun Ahmat, the village chief. “We welcomed them and this project is deepening our ties.”
The work done by both host communities and refugees expands the availability and diversity of food produced and consumed locally, and ensures that local food production and income-generating activities can continue through shocks and crises.
“You work all together for you and your families,” says Ndeingar Toutoadoum, WFP Chad’s Senior Programme Officer. “Our assistance is like the sugary tea you like to drink: it boosts you but at the end of the day it’s your combined efforts and your involvement which will make all the difference,” Ndeingar tells community members during a project review meeting.
“So, help us to help you.”
“We receive cash assistance for our work. We can buy meat, poultry to prepare the family meal. We even share our meals during feasts and special occasions.”
A separate dimension of the project supported by the German Government helps restore degraded landscapes. The community in this arid environment found it difficult to store the little water that came through during the brief rainy season.
This arid environment will be completely different in a few months time when rain will come (June/September). The main problem is to keep all the rain which will fall in a few days. That’s why part of the FFA project is dedicated to the building of a stone wall which will retain water and will enable participants to increase the crop’s yield.
Chad is hosting more than 400 000 refugees from Sudan , the Central African Republic and Nigeria.
WFP Chad is assisting them with the support of Canada, China, DFID, ECHO, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the United States of America.
Follow us on @WFP_Chad and @WFP West Africa
Written by Nathalie Magnien