Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan, Lars Andersen and staff at the Embassy visited the peri-urban area Kasire-Kampala (Rajaf West) outside Juba to see the result of the Norwegian funded FAO Urban Livelihoods programme.
The Embassy witnessed how the 117 inhabitants of Kasire-Kampala, Rajaf in Juba, accessed seeds, tools, knowledge and marketable vegetables through World Vision facilitated programme under FAO.
“We just need peace so that we can expand our gardens to plant maize, sorghum and cassava besides the vegetable we are harvesting now,” said Otong Wilson a member of Puur Beer farmers association. Puur Beer means, “farming is good”.
“Giving free food to people is not enough, but imparting skills and giving farming tools to the community to produce their own food is more important. We really thank you very much for your support,” said Mr. Otong.
According to a UN report, 48 percent of the population in South Sudan are currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity.
Norway, in an effort to reduce food insecurity has donated NOK 150 million (18.6 million USD) in multiyear funding to FAO South Sudan. The funds will form part of an effort to reach 800 000 households with life-saving livelihood support.
Speaking during the visit to Rajaf, Ambassador Lars Andersen applauded the community for their efforts to become self-reliant. He affirmed Norway’s strong commitment to improving livelihoods for South Sudanese, saying that helping the South Sudanese to help themselves was the most meaningful kind of support that can be provided.
“The reason for the humanitarian crisis is the ongoing conflicts. Norway has urged all parties to stop the fighting and make a final push for peace in the ongoing negotiations in Khartoum”, said Ambassador Andersen.
“We want to help improving food security, so that when the peace comes donors can instead focus on development, such as building roads, schools, hospitals and more others.”
The Ambassador added that Norway as a long-standing friend of the people of South Sudan would continue its efforts to support a peaceful and prosperous future for all.
“We need more Hoes, Pangas and seeds, but not free food anymore. Because we can plant and harvest from our own sweat. Don’t leave us alone, we need your support,” said Kenyi James Mogga, one of the members of the cooperative.
“We were hungry before and don’t know how to plant vegetables for both consumption and markets, but now with the knowledge, it is helping us to sustain our families, and has enable us to send our children to schools,” added Mogga.
Amona Martin, deputy chair for the group, said that learning new skills has helped them to get food for themselves and generate income too.
“We were trained in March this year, thereafter we formed this group, which consist of 26 members, and started the demonstration field by end of April. We have earned 27,800 SSP (approx. USD 113) for the last two months, and this money will increase significantly,” Amona explained.
FAO aims to reach 4.8 million people in 2018, with inputs for crop, vegetable and fisheries production to produce at least 300 000 tons of food and vaccinate and treat over 8.7 million livestock to protect pastoralists’ assets.
The Rajaf farmers association have shown how important imparting skills, provision of tools and seeds is.