This multi sector survey reveals that the communities located along the final section of Jubba river are flourishing in some areas but also performing quite poorly in others. This section is going to highlight some of the key area of needs and suggest possible solutions that could be adopted to improve the situation.
The report revealed that while most of the population has access to an acceptable diet, the largest majority of the population produces mainly for self-consumption purposes and sell approximately one third of their production in the market. This limited production of surplus food is the direct result of inadequate access basic farming implements such as ox ploughs (owned by 4% of the population) and tractors (used by approximately 4% of the population). In addition, very few farmers report having ever been trained in modern farming practices, something quite needed considering the influx of people from arid areas with limited habit of farming.
Addressing this matter would increase commercial farming as compared to subsistence farming practices. In addition, another challenge that was rampant was flooding that also contributed to low farming, the community could benefit to training on flood controls like creation of flood ways and promotion of plantation. Trainings on proper farming, exposure to improved seeds and storage methods would also be very critical to this community to support in the overall improvement of yields.
Key observation is that most livestock farmers are not conducting this activity for commercial reasons (only 12% of the farmers who kept animals do it for commercial purposes), but rather to complement their diet with milk and stock animal (assets) in case of need. In fact, while the majority of animal farmers fetch milk (70%), very few sell it (only 14%, mostly concentrated in the fishing community where people have cash to spend). Support activities should focus on improving access to market, particularly for milk producers.
Important to keep in mind is the frequent conflicts between livestock ownersand agricultural farmers, because animals tend to stray to other people’s land or interfere at common water sources when animals are drinking water. The recommendation here would be to sensitize the communities on conflict resolution, and additionally to offer support to breeders through creation of animal drinking pods. For Agriculturalist communities, trainings on securing correct land use through locally available materials could be provided.
79% of the population practicing fishing, do it with the primary focus of earning income from it. The activity seems lucrative, since almost half of the people who recently arrived to fishing communities report moving in seeking better economic opportunities, something unique in the area surveyed. Despite this, data showed that fishers are going through different challenges, for instance, more than half did not own fishing boats and 48% had no fishing nets.
Recommendation here would be to support fishers to acquire additional nets and boats.
Additional, for all the three groups, it would be good to offer trainings to all the three groups on financial management and business trainings to ensure sustainability of these businesses.
Illiteracy level among adults is at 88%. Adult training is fundamental here, especially if the groups are to be supported to venture into agribusiness. Children general school enrolment is also very low, especially for younger children (aged between 6 and 11 years), with only half of the children going to school. On the supply side, the weakest point of the education system is the absence of schools providing more than P4 grades (only 25% of families report accessing a school offering up to P8 or secondary classes).
To improve the situation, there is need to offer structural support to schools through the expansion of classrooms, provision of desk and scholastic materials, and also trough the provision and training of more teachers. Sensitization on the importance of education and enrolling children in young age is also recommended.
Vulnerabilities and Protection
Despite the improving security conditions reported by families, Protection is one area of concern. The survey findings showed that gender-based violence is diffused to the extent that some women have normalized it and had gone further to find justification for violence. Moreover, for victims of violence, it was evident that pathways for reporting such cases were not functioning, since only 1/3 of the populations informed authorities about it. In addition, the survey showed that there is a significant presence of vulnerable group that include orphans, elderly, PWDs and IDPs. On the positive side it should be noted that one-third of community works are reportedly led by women, suggesting the opportunity for strengthening the gender balance in important structure of governance.
Recommendation for this activity is to have community sensitizations session. Special attention should be put on village leaders. This is because these communities follow the Maslaha system (use of local religious leader to settle community disputes) in settling disputes. The trainings of these leaders should focus on protection issues and best ways for conflict resolution aiming at discouraging violence. Trainings to protection actors should also be provided to offer support to victims of violence and tailor initiatives that enable victims of violence to get back on their knees.
Access to safe water is a major concern, as 70% of families drink water from the very final section of the river or from ponds. This is especially worrisome, since additionally open-air defecation is practiced the majority of people (65%), thus causing high risk of water contamination, and only 12% of respondents stated that hey received any training on hygiene or cholera prevention. The fact that flooding is common in the area makes even more important the subject of water in general. After agriculture, water issues are the most discussed topics by the communities in their meetings, and health and water are the second and third most mentioned issues by families asked to indicate their main reason for concern.
Additional attention on farming
In comparison with the farming conducted in private lands, the produce farmed in common lands is more likely to be sold to the market (rather than consumed), and the cash obtained is more likely to be reinvested (used for the purchase of agricultural inputs or payment of daily workers). Moreover, it can be noted that common farming is considered important particularly among the 2 communities (agriculturalist and mixed) where strongest is the farming sector. The evidence suggests that common land farming represents an intermediary step to increase the share of market-oriented farmers. It is important, therefore, not to unduly favour farming occurring in family lands as opposed to common lands.