Friday Photo: Increasing Stability and Resiliency of Livelihood Systems in Cameroon
This Friday's photo features IRD's Country Director James Jean buying squash from a refugee from the Central African Republic (CAR) that has settled in Cameroon. Since 2008, IRD has assisted in increasing food security in response to the influx of approximately 85,000 refugees from CAR. This sudden increase in population put a great strain on food supplies and health care systems that were already overtaxed trying to meet local needs. IRD is contributing to an improved food security situation by training the refugees in biointensive farming, which will provide year-round access to nutritious food, recover livestock, and improve potable water systems.
IRD began the Livelihood Security Restoration for CAR Refugees and the Host Communities in Eastern Cameroon in May 2008. It is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and UNHCR. IRD has assisted over 37,000 refugees in 30 settlements in the Kadei, Lom, and Djerem areas of the Eastern Province of Cameroon, as well as overt 6,500 Cameroonians.
IRD conducted vaccination campaigns to protect livestock, train para-veterinarians to monitor animal health, and provide vulnerable households with small animals such as sheep or goats. Tools and seeds were provided to maximize food supply. Due to the limitations on land availability, IRD initially provided hands-on training in biointensive gardening and soil fertility management. As the program progressed, IRD was able to transition some beneficiaries into community farm activities in fields further away from the settlements. In addition, IRD built and rehabilitated water infrastructures for both human consumption and irrigation.
IRD and a local partner, SODELCO, provide training to nomadic herdsmen in livestock health and nutrition. IRD also helped develop a marketing strategy and provided technical support for the establishment of a noodle processing plant that is now producing fortified noodles in Douala.