SOS Sahel UK is working with SOS Sahel Sudan on a Food Security and Livelihoods Project in Gunub and Awlieb Locality, Red Sea State, eastern Sudan. The ultimate objective of this programme is to achieve a sustainable increase in food security amongst rural households in 53 different communities in eastern Sudan, through improved and diversified means of food production and income generation. This programme complements the achievements made by SOS Sahel UK in Red Sea State through its previous work as part of the UN-funded Recovery and Rehabilitation Programme (RRP).
The communities that SOS Sahel UK is working with are largely from the Beja tribe; one of the most marginalised groups in East Africa. The eastern region of Sudan was hit by severe drought in the 1980s. The Beja lost most of their camel herds and their nomadic way of life collapsed. This forced the majority to settle in the Arba’at delta or migrate to towns to avoid total destitution. Since 1991, we have trained Beja families to harvest the seasonal floodwaters that descend from the Red Sea hills and grow crops on collective farms and home gardens. However, their livelihood continues to be threatened by an unreliable climate that affects the timing and volume of seasonal flooding.
The projects implemented through this programme will target entire communities, working through existing local structures; training them so they can become self-reliant and manage their own development interventions in the future. Activities include:
Capacity building of Community Based Organisations and Local Government Authorities on topics such as project management, organisational management, book-keeping, lobbying and advocacy and monitoring and evaluation. The programme also encourages collaboration between local associations and regional government so the Beja can access basic services directly from government.
Training of communities on issues such as gender and the environment, nutrition and HIV/AIDS, literacy and women’s rights.
Women-focused training on literacy, small enterprise development, such as home gardens, poultry and commodity shops, and income generation.
Development of water harvesting techniques such as rehabilitation of wells and water terraces and construction of hafirs (water reservoirs) to support fruit, vegetable and sorghum production for household consumption and income generation.
Support to fishery groups and promotion of livestock to increase household food sufficiency, encourage more nutrient rich diets and provide increased income generation opportunities.
Gender awareness sessions are taking place in Gunub and Awlieb Locality through the medium of theatre. A mobile theatre group is working to conduct awareness sessions on gender issues, with a special focus on gender and Beja culture. By using poetic stanzas they are attracting many villagers who show great enthusiasm at recitation of verses as poetry is greatly valued in the Beja culture.
- European Commission
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- Sudan Veterinary Department