Submission of this report is based on an extension of a Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) pilot project that was implemented in Narus Payam, Kapoeta East County By Rural Action Against Hunger (RAAH), an implementing partner of CORDAID from September 2014 to September 2015, after a Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) was conducted from the 11thto the 18th of July 2014. It was during this assessment that 7 major hazards were identified and ranked by the community in their importance of social and economic impact as being drought, conflict, malaria, East Coast Fever (ECF), witchcraft, cholera and CBP. Of all these hazards,drought and conflict were identified by the participating group of 175 participants(3/4 women) as the most important hazards because of their potentiality in causing disaster based on historical disastrous occurrences in the past 5 to 10 years.
Conflicts associated with water shortage as the result of draught were sighted as catalysts for aggravating killings and social and economic destruction in the area. The PDRA also identified weak community capacity in terms of organizational, resource mobilization competence, and backwardness as some of the weakness that the CMDRR project needed to address. However, due to the limitation of the implementation period and funding shortage, RAAH was unable to achieve what was planned within the short period of piloting the project and in retrospective, RAAH submitted a proposal to CORDAID for the extension of the project so as to particularly address issues of conflict associated with water shortage for both animals and human, as well as livelihoods diversification through introduction of root crop like short term draught resistant cassava variety, women self-help saving capacity draught animal traction to increase cropping land size, leadership skills, and peaceful co-existence among the various community groups in Narus. It was on this understanding that CORDAID approved the proposedExtension request and funds were later disbursed in February, 2016instead of December 2015 as was planned.
The primary objective of this project is to build a resilient community that can be able to bounce back in an advent of disaster using its own capacity and resources through conflict mitigation and Livelihoods Diversification.
1.1Specific objectives of the project
·Build community capacity to withstand disaster shock and be able to bounce back through livelihoods diversification and improved early warning system.
·Encourage replication of the root crop multiplication to other communities to holistically address food insecurityin the County
·Reduce the risk of drought and conflict through construction of one model rain water harvesting valley dam
·Encourage women self-help groups through provision of “SEED MONEY” as a means to promote the spirit of savings among South Sudanese women
·Train youth in integrated vegetable production to increase household income and nutritional security
·Promote ox-plough training in order to increase cropland size.
·Promote peaceful co-existence through community dialogue meetings and gender awareness.
The outcome of this project has been translated into the achievements made during the course of implementation. Implementation of the CMDRR pilot project was conducted in phases since inception in 2015 after the conduct of the PDRA in 2014.
Phase 1.Includedcreation of awareness about CMDRR and the operational Principles, followed by identification of local community leadership structures and functions, followed by democratic elections of CMDRR committees and training, and later identification of livelihood projects.
The presence of CORDAID in Narus through its partner RAAH hascreated tremendous support and eye opening opportunities among the different ethnic communitiesin Narus, Kapoeta East County. The presence of RAAH office has encouraged youth and women to come over to discuss their issues freely, and relevant government departments like the WASH, Gender and Social welfare, Agriculture and food security worked hand in hand to improve the living conditions of the marginalized communities. Kapoeta East is one of the counties in the region which has been neglected for years because remoteness. In a nutshell, providing Social services in this area was a nightmare, therefore presence of RAAH office alone in the area was an achievement.
The following achievements were made because of the resilience of the staff who persevered to work in adverse security situation as well as the support and enthusiasm of the beneficiaries.
Construction of Model Rain Water Harvesting Valley Dam
Construction of an Ethiopian Haffir model of Rain Water harvesting Dam was conceived as one of the primary options of solving long term water shortage in Narus. The idea of using this model was hatched after a Field Study Tour organized by CORDAID forpartners implementing CMDRR projects in similar Semi-arid terrain like those in Eastern part of Ethiopia. It was in February, 2015 that the team spent a number of days visiting various water harvesting technological sites in Eastern Ethiopia.RAAH was represented by the Director and Project Manager, Narus, one water officer from the State government, Caritas and CORDAID. Immediately after the Study tour RAAH organized a one day brainstorming workshop to discuss way forward as a result of the visit and how to mobilize the community on the best cause of action. Therefore construction of the valley dam was conceived as among the best possible options to providefairly long term solution for providing of water for animals and human as well as for productivity.Providing opportunities for vegetables production could help kill two birds with one stone. Vegetables in Narus are scarce and expensive because they are imported from across international border Kenya. Therefore by organizing and training the women and youth in vegetable production groups would improve household cash economy and therefore reduce incidences of youth getting killed in cattle raids and women being used as beasts of burden. The project would also improvise nutritional values as vegetables are rich in vitamins and other essential minerals which the body requires. Therefore the health of children especially those under 5 years and the elderly improved.
The Communities in Narus would also use the water for watering their animals especially goats and sheep herded by children. In this way the project would also save the children from hostile cattle raiding youthwho often rampage the entire County and region.
Therefore it was against this analysis that RAAH with support of financial resources from CORDAID to up the challenge of constructing a unique Rain Water Harvesting Dam not only in Narus but the entire Greater Kapoeta. The Dimensions are:15 m long by 10 m wide and 2 ½m deep, and is envisaged to harvest large volume of rain water that would be used during dry spells for the purposes mentioned above(See the stages of construction in the galary page).The technicality of constructing the dam had to compel RAAH to engage an experienced contractor from Magwi County supported by RAAH project manager. It became a very expensive undertaking because the construction occurred at the time when the entire Country is experiencing severe Economic, and political crises. Being a remote area that used to get goods from Kenya before the economic crises, Narus was eventually cutoff from the Capital and therefore the flow of services and goods was curtailed by serious incidences of insecurity especially on the roads. Therefore RAAH had to face lots of challenges of buying the hardware from Juba with high prices and transport, leave alone putting lives of staff in danger because of insecure roads.
Site, showing the raising of the wall, thickness and quality of stones used, April, 2016