Context: Kambia District is in the Northern Province, and borders with the Republic of Guinea to the North, Port Loko district to the South and Bombali district to the East. Kambia town is the largest town, and the district capital. The district population is ethnically diverse; the largest and most prominent ethnic groups are Temne, Susu, Limba, Fula, and Mandingo. The district provides a vital trade route between Sierra Leone and the neighboring Republic of Guinea. The average household size1 is 7 people per family. There is a wide variation in different indicators between urban and rural populations, such as the number of livelihood activities, access to education and health facilities, mortality and morbidity rates, etc.
Population distribution : The projected population data 20141 breakdown by age group indicates that 46% of the district population contributes to the workforce and 49% of the population is below the age of 15 years old. 34% of children between the ages of 5-11 years are engaged in some form of labor/economic activities. Since the end of civil war in 2002, the district experienced large population movementsacross the border mainly due to the return of previously displaced populations. Some 78%3 of the district population reside in rural areas.
Livelihood and Economy: The livelihood activities of the district residents are mainly farming (rice and roots crops - cassava and yam), followed by cross-border trade with neighboring Guinea. A revival of the cross-border trade in the traditional markets known as ‘Loumah’ increased, from 5 in the pre-war period to 15 currently, in the towns and villages on both sides of the border. These markets attract thousands of traders and other visitors from far-off areas, including from Freetown and Conakry. People also engage in fishing and very small scale animal rearing2 . Men engage in fishing activities, while fish trading in the market is carried out by women. Exchange and hiring of labor7 is a common practice in the district particularly during the planting and harvest seasons. However, in 2014 this activity drastically dropped compared to pre-Ebola in 2013 and had a significant impact on the seasonal household income. The Wealth Index (WI)3 indicates that 43% of the district households are in the two poorest quintiles.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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