Due to an enormous amount of time spent on the construction of the valley dam, and the lack of sufficient rains for training this activity is halted for a while, however, about 15 farmers have already registered with their animals for the ox-plough training. A theoretical skill training has been done what remains is the practical aspect. The Ministry of Rural Development in Torit seconded an ox-trainer to RAAH who did all the mobilization and theoretical training.
Project Completion Plan
All completion plans are geared towards work plan. The initial target period was between December, 2015 and May, 2016. However, the disbursement of the funds from CORDAID delayed up to late February, 2016. Project implementation therefore commenced in March and continued up to July, 2016. Time and resource needed for the Construction of the valley dam was under estimated. Identification of the Technical team and mobilization of the resources at critical time of political turmoil in the country impacted negatively on the time and material mobilization. Request for no-cost extension was hard because Narus mobile networks could not function as regularly as possible leave alone availability of internet facilities.RAAH to the responsibility of keeping work going despite all the odds in extension plans.
Handing over plan
The community in Narus have appreciated the support CORDAID has given to the people of Narus Payam and Kapoeta East County in general, and have proposed thatCORDAID and RAAH officially hand over the Valley Dam which is a symbol of Unity in the area to the Community and government.The Valley Dam turned out to be a unique project that has generated a lot of discussions among people about its impact once filled up with rainwater.
The implementation period taken in Narus compared with other CMDRR project areas is very short to begin talking about strong sustainability capacity of the people without further support, guidance and supervision from implementing partner. With the resource support from CORDAID RAAH has built capacities of both the CMDRR groups and County WASH department. However, there are still gaps that needed to be filled.
For instance developing structures forCost-recovery for the sustainable maintenance of the rehabilitated boreholes. There is need to train Community Based Borehole Water Maintenance committees that will work hand in hand with the CMDRR leaders to ensure collection of a fee from each water users. A functioning system will have to be established with participation of the County WASH department on the sustainability of the water points including the valley dam.
The cassava and vegetable growing projects are well established and easy to sustain. However, everything is dependent on the availability of regular rain including the filing up of the dam with water
Self-help groups are still shaky because of internal wrangles over collections and record keeping. They still require external supervision because then that they believe in neutrality. Savings is a fairly new phenomenon in the area and requires lots of guidance especially where money is involved to maintain integrity among the groups.
However, generally the people in Narus have opened up to challenges and they are not the same as before the projects were established
Implementation of the projects became very challenging especially beginning from April, 2016 when the Country experienced one of the highest inflation rates in the region. The economy was nearing to collapse and there was a lot of anxiety among the business people, and many others. Profoundly the following were some of the major challenges RAAH was confronted with during the implementation of the extension period, March-July, 2016:
·Shortages of Material for construction of the valley dam. Prominent hardware stores in Juba attempted to shutdown business because they could not cope with the high inflation and shortage of hard currency
·High logistics costs asmost materials had to be purchased from Juba amid fuel shortage and high prices
·Increasing insecurity both on the roads and at the project site. RAAH staff at the construction of valley dam site was put under gun point in May, 2016 and the food in the food for work in the store was stolen, empty drums were taken including cooked food for the workers, but nobody was harmed.
·Latedisbursementoffunds affectedworkplan, hence prolongation of the period to July, 2016
·The Construction design, timeline and budget were all underestimated. The construction engineer discovered a lot of budgetary weak points that were not apparent until the construction started and work was at its peak.
·Up to July no sufficient rain inNarusyet and this hasaffected the vegetable seed beds and the plans to harvest rainwater in the dam to facilitate official handing over.RAAH felt it would be inappropriate to hand over an empty facility to the community whendemonstration is supposed to conducted
·Lack of regular logistics support for Narus.Narus and Maridi Projects share only one land cruiser that often breaks down regularly because of overwork.The pilot project had no provisions for a vehicle except a motorcycle.
Greater Kapoeta isa grey area for social and economic development potential, and Narus is a very strategic and renown area as a model forheterogeneous community. Yet its one of the underserved areas because of its distance from the center. It is also an entry gateway to East Africa. During the crises many of the DinkasfromJongolei passed through Narus and many opted to stay and integrated. WASH program is not established in Narus, coupled with marginalization of women especially the Toposa women who are looked at as the beasts of burden.
The appeal RAAH is making is for CORDAID consider establishing WASH and Gender mainstreaming projects. The entry-point RAAH has establishedwould envisage profound impact especially on women.
In Conclusion the Community and RAAH would like to thank CORDAID for the contribution it has done in the area to lift them in the darks pot they were in to light. The projects were well thought of and worth supporting.