World Water Day

Top Photo: Kenya, Turkana, Etuko 3rd March 2012

Three years ago, Elizabeth Narot Titim and her community had to walk almost 10 kilometres to fetch water for her family, but now, thanks to a WFP-sponsored food-for-assets project, that distance has been cut to about 2 kilometres.
Elizabeth is a beneficiary of the Etuko water pan project in the Turkana district of northwestern Kenya.  The community in Etuko built the water reservoir in collaboration with WFP and the Turkana Rehabilitation Project (TRP), part of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. The reservoir consists in two water large basins. The largest water basin is fenced to prevent livestock and wild animals to reach the water, animals are allowed to drink form the smaller basin.
Under food-for-assets (FFA) programmes, beneficiaries receive food assistance as they work on projects aimed at improving both their ability to cope with drought and also their food security status. Each family sends one person to work on the project, and with the support of the donors such as the EU, WFP provides food for the entire household.
At the Etuko water pan, the community now have water for both household and livestock needs.
“Before the project, we had to walk long distances to fetch water but now we have more time to concentrate on our farms,” says Elizabeth.
In the photo: The women walk to pick up their jerry cans and buckets to collect the water they need.

Middle Left Photo: Niger, Mangaize Refugee camp, 3 May 2012

In Niger, WFP has launched an emergency operation to support 3.9 million people, with a special focus on children under age two.  Around 35 percent of people being assisted will receive cash. Areas where cash transfers will be used have been carefully selected according to how well local markets are functioning, food availability and prices. The operation also includes food relief for Malian refugees and for returning Nigerien workers fleeing insecurity in northern Mali.
So far, around 11,300 metric tons of food assistance have been distributed to more than 1.1 million people since the scale up in November. Of these, 423,ooo people have been provided with support through food-for-work and cash-for-work activities in the worst-affected areas of the country. Around 11,0000 metric tons of food have been distributed through food-for-work and US$4.2 million through cash-for-work since November.
In the last week in April alone, around 264,000 people in Tahoua and Niamey regions benefitted from food for work activities, and more than 100,000 people through cash for work. In April and May, cash and food for work are being scaled up to reach one million people. 

Middle Right Photo: Niger, Dosso, Village Koumari: the village is located in the department of Dogondutchi, North- Eastern of Niamey.

As of November 2011, 7 percent of the region’s population was considered severely food insecure. Maradi has been particularly affected by pest infestations resulting in heavy crop losses; the early and systematic rise in food prices compounded by variable and often limited availability of cereals on the market; the return of migrant workers following insecurity in Nigeria; and the reduction in fuel subsidies in Nigeria, affecting food and fuel costs in southern areas of Niger. The situation of pastoralists is of particular concern as pastureland and water for livestock is becoming increasingly limited, compounded by insecurity in neighboring Nigeria which has disrupted traditional movement of herders. Vulnerable households have relied increasingly on negative coping mechanisms to meet basic food and other survival needs, including: migrating in larger numbers and for longer periods – affecting children’s school attendance; selling productive assets; and reducing the quality, quantity, and variety of food consumed. The situation of children is of particular concern. The June 2011 national nutrition survey found acute malnutrition prevalence of 12.2 percent among children 6-59 months; among children 6-23 months, the prevalence was 21.4 percent. The nutrition situation is anticipated to have deteriorated further as a result of the compounded food security shocks in the area since end 2011. Maradi has been targeted under WFP’s preemptive response to the crisis since November 2011, benefitting from food and cash-for-work, to keep families in place and children in school, and targeted supplementary feeding activities in 150 CRENAMs (nutrition feeding centers) in the region for the treatment of moderately malnourished children. Since the scale-up, as of end April WFP has assisted 204,498 beneficiaries in the region.

WFP implements CFW for 6,426 beneficiaries in collaboration with national NGO partner AREN. Thus far, CFA 83,170,800 have been distributed (more than USD 166,340). Of the CFW 918 project participants, 397 (43%) are female. Of the participants, 45 are labour-constrained (of which 33 are female), and benefit from unconditional cash transfers. Project works began in January, focusing on de-weeding, construction of half-moons that enable water conservation for several planting situations such as: fruit trees, crop production and forage for livestock consumption. Of the 358 hectares planned, 320 hectares have been worked as of 18 April which means that the project is at 89% of its completion.

Bottom Photo: Kenya, Turkana, Songot 3rd March 2012

This community in Songot, in northwestern Kenya’s Turkana region, have been receiving food assistance for many years. However, 3 years ago, WFP changed is approach to food assistance in these communities to one that helps communities build a more sustainable future.
Now, the community members are taking part in WFP-supported food-for-assets (FFA) programmes, where they receive food assistance as they work on projects aimed at improving their ability to cope with drought, as well as improving their overall foodsecurity.
“We are happier with food-for assets because the assets we create will be with us for a long time,” says Simon who is also the chairman of the Songot rock catchment project. The project is implemented by the community in collaboration with WFP and the Turkana Rehabilitation Project (TRP), part of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
In the FFA programme, is each family sends one person to work on the project, and with the support of the donors such as the EU, WFP provides food for the entire household.
Through the Songot rock catchment project, the community now have water for household and livestock needs and are also growing vegetables and fruits through irrigation.
According to Simon, women of the community previously had to trek long distances in search of water for household needs, and the men also had to walk long distances in search of pasture and water for their livestock. This exposed them to insecurity as they were competing with other pastoralists for scarce resources.
“Now we no longer have to go to hostile territory since we have our own water source right here at Songot,” pointed out Simon.

Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud