Food security project in Marigat district covers two locations i.e Ilchamus and Salabani location. The project which is Funded by Caritas Italiana through Mani Tese(an Italian NGO) being implemented by Network for Ecofarming in Africa(NECOFA) had an opportunity of being visited by the coordinator of East African projects from Mani Tese. Accompanying her (Bruna) was Mr. Muhunyu Director of NECOFA, Damiano a friend of Mani Tese and Kenya, and a Professional photographer, Maria. The visit entailed both Monitoring and evaluating the food security project which was launched six months ago. Reviewing the work done as an essential way of knowing the outputs derived from the project.
The food security project in Marigat district aims at working with the community group members. So far 22 groups in each location have been profiled. The groups then join together to form “cluster groups”. Currently there are 6 cluster groups in each location. Each cluster group has a single demonstration plot donated by member of the cluster. The demonstration plot acts as a place of learning new pertaining to soil and water conservation and growing of different crops. The community learns how to use A-frames and Level boards which were provided to them through the project.
They use them to make terraces to conserve soil and water.
The project also engages schools gardens. The purpose of introducing the 4K club to schools is to teach the school pupils how to produce and process food to enhance food security and generate income through sale of surplus produce. Five school gardens have been established in Salabani and Ilchamus locations. The process engaged the teachers of various schools who acts as the patrons by training them on how to establish the 4K club. Recruitment of the members follows and after the club is trained, office bearers are elected.
To work in any community its vital to involve the local authority and community in general that’s why, the project is run through the location project implementation committee (LPIC). The committee has a role to review the work done throughout the month. Since the committee members who mainly are derived from the location and understand the cultural practice well, they help to curb some situations.
Marigat area is considered as an arid and semi arid land (ASAL) hence the crops integrated through the project are short term high value crops. Crops aimed to be planted at the demonstration crops includes Pigeon peas, cow peas, green grams, maize, sorghum, beans, millet, cassava and pumpkins. All these are drought resistant crops. A package of the same is provided to 500 vulnerable household to uplift their food security.
This will enhance coping and adapting to climate change as vulnerable households diversify their crops, to ensure food and nutrition security.