Group of women clearing group farm land

Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction

Man-made and natural disasters are common in South Sudan. Man-made disasters such as conflicts affect lives of people negatively, in South Sudan. It causes displacement, loss of lives, properties and infrastructure, depleting resources leading to retardation of development. Natural disaster is as hazardous as made disaster. The circle of disaster continues year after year and no preventive measures or preparedness in place. With good understanding of nature of disaster i.e. the causes, signs & and signals, its force, duration or frequency disaster risk can be prevented or mitigated. Communities in western Bahr el-Ghazal are in need of capacity in order to reduce disaster risk.

WDG has a pilot project funded by CORDAID and working in 2 rural communities with the disaster themes of drought and malaria to build the communities organisational, technical and advocacy capacities. These themes were selected by the communities themselves and now the work has started to build their strengths in organisation, knowing their rights, information management, risk management including focus on their most vulnerable citizens, deeper wells, water harvesting plans, drought resistant crop selection advocacy with ministries of infrastructure and health as well as cross cutting themes of gender and environment protection.

This innovative project is helping to put power into the hands of the remote rural communities.

Income Improvement for Women and their Families

As at August 2013, WDG are starting a new 1 year project with Oxfam. This has 2 main activity groups

1.       Setting up businesses run by  20 women groups through formation, training and cash grants of $500

2.       Further expanding, from previous projects, the deployment of animal traction for ploughing. 24 Oxen will be provided together with training and vegetable seeds

These activities continue to focus on the most vulnerable women and families to give them some income to contribute to empowering them

The project includes exhibitions to be arranged in Wau town to show assist in the marketing of the new businesses that will be set up and to sell some of the newly produced products

Food Sovereignty

Wau, is South Sudan’s 2nd largest city, and has an estimated 500 000 inhabitants, 90 000 of whom are returnees from and displaced peoples (IDPs). During the civil war Wau was government held but the surrounding rural area was the battlefield between the government forces and the freedom fighters and so the food to feed the inhabitants of Wau was coming from the North. Now the farming strength in the surrounding rural areas has to be rebuilt and the reliance of the local people on aid needs to switched to one where they are involved in their own development

This 3 year project will work for 2 years on farmer’s skills and food production development and then in the 3rd Year work to build up farmer’s co-operatives and their food processing marketing capabilities.

Sovereignty rather than security is an important part of the project name since it covers not just feeding the hungry and vulnerable but also work on land rights, environmental sustainability and choices for producers and consumers.

Specifically the project will

1.       Work with 250 hectares of land introducing animal traction and have demonstrative fields

2.       Directly benefit 480 small farmers ; 60% women and 40% men covering 3500 people in their families

3.       Focus on 3 basic local crops of sorghum, cassava and groundnut and introduce vegetable farming for tomato, okra, pumpkin and onion as well as fruit trees together with  development of agro forestry

4.       Improve seed varieties, irrigation  including water harvesting and hence crop yields

5.       Work on small farmers and women’s rights including access to resources and roles in farming

6.       Train on environmental protection and have campaigns directed at related government policies These will employ dramas

7.       Publicise its work on the radio

8.       Benefit the local population through improved access to food of a better nutritional value

9.       Assist agronomy students in the local university by involving them in the project

10.   Train farmers in cooperative formation, food drying / production and storage, marketing and leadership and specifically set up a food production site that will employ 160 women.

The project is being coordinated by Mani Tese with funds from the Italian Episcopal Church, Caritas and PIPA Slovakia as well as Mani Tese. WDG are one of 2 implementation partners together with WOTAP and as at August 2013 work is in hand to select the beneficiaries and formally start the project



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