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Improving food quality and security

Malteser International is providing support for 850 vulnerable families across five villages in the vicinty of Wau, a city located in the north west of the South Sudanese state of Western Bahr al Ghazal. The project enables more than 5,000 people to sustainably improve their food quality and nutritional security. The local population in this region earn their livelihood largely from agricultural activities, but since the renewal of violent conflict in the county in December 2013, the forces of civil war have had a negative impact on the lives of the people. The already precarious food situation – which suffered from the limitations of local farming methods and fluctuating weather conditions – has been pushed to breaking point and beyond by ongoing political crises, violence, and a continually growing number of displaced people and refugees.

Malteser International has been working in close collaboration with the Catholic diocese of Wau since the end of 2014 in order to improve the nutrition and livelihood of the villagers sustainably, and to reduce their exposure and vulnerability to future crises and disasters. Malteser International is returning abandoned acreage, irrigation systems and access roads to use in cooperation with local families: distributing seeds, plant cuttings and tools to the population, as well as setting up warehouses. The families are taught improved farming methods in training sessions – allowing them not only to increase the yield, but also the diversity of their crop: providing themselves with a healthier diet for the long-term. The diocese of Wau has given its own land for farming.

A year into the implementation of project activities, the ongoing violent conflict reached the villages and forced people to flee to Wau. Most of the displaced have still not returned to their villages and farms. With the new situation, Malteser International redesigned the project to focus on creating livelihoods for displaced families living with host families and in camps in the city. Agricultural activities in the renewed project was adapted to the urban area with an emphasis on urban kitchen gardens.

Despite a peace agreement in 2005, which brought an official end to the decades long war of secession, and its eventual independence on the 9th of July 2011, South Sudan's recent history has been marred by insurmountable inter-ethnic conflicts.

Renewed outbreaks of violence in 2016 worsened the security situation in the young nation as displaced families fled to Wau town, and have had to survive with little or no income. In moving its project to the township and providing emergency relief for these families, Malteser International has ensured that livelihoods are secured even in an unfamiliar urban setting.

Strengthening food cultivation capacities of displaced families from Bussere and Bagari Payam regions of South Sudan as well as host communities in Wau.

  • Construction of model garden and seed beds
  • Distribution of seeds and basic farm tools to households
  • Trainings on marketting of agricultural products
  • Supporting most vulnerable persons in Wau with rations of annual crop harvest
  • Support and training 5,160 persons on the cultivation of urban kitchen gardens as well as training in water management. Beneficiaries come from both dispaced families and families from the host community.
  • Construction of 9 boreholes to increase water supply in residential districts of internally displaced persons

Country Info

Capital: Juba
Area: 644,329 km²
Population: c. 12 Million

Project data

Project duration: since October 2014
Donors: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
: Catholic Diocese of Wau

Last updated: November 2017

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