FIOH provides D330,000 to alleviate food shortages
Thursday, April 26, 2012
in Our Hands (FIOH) has supplied D330,000 worth of food aid to 16 communities
in the Lower, Upper and Central River Regions to help tackle the worst effects
of the looming food shortage facing The Gambia, a press release from FIOH
according to the release, has provided significant cash amounts to local
communities to enable them to purchase a stock of cereals to top up community
cereal banks. The release added that FIOH has previously established a series
of cereal banks in these communities and has provided training on effective
storage, seed selection and proper stock management.
“This initiative has already helped these villages to ensure that they have access to a consistent supply of food during the so-called ‘hungry period’ between harvests. However, the pending food shortages meant that the cereal banks were unable to cope with the unprecedented demand and so extra stock was needed,” the release further stated.
on this initiative, Bubacarra Camara, senior programme officer at FIOH said:
“The rationale behind the additional support of the cash amounts is to respond
to the national call for disaster relief for the crop failures.The money, he added, has been used to
purchase additional cereals within the locality and from Lumoo markets.
said this stock of newly purchased cereals has been added to the already
established cereal banks in the assisted villages. As of now, the cereal banks
have recovered up to 80-100% capacity, which will help to provide a buffer
against the most serious effects of the food shortage.
“We decided that strengthening the existing cereal banks with additional food stock so as to reduce the impact of general food shortages especially during the planting period is more sustainable and long lasting. We have already provided training on how to best utilise these cereal banks and we intend to roll out more capacity building to educate the cereal bank operators, mainly School Management Committees (SMCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs), on how to make best use of them,” he revealed.
Camara also explained that the cereal banks are managed in such a way that the vulnerable and the less-privileged in the assisted villages are given the priority to benefit which are repaid in kind with reasonable interest at harvest, determined by the people themselves to ensure growth.
Future in Our Hands (FIOH) is Swedish-Gambian non-governmental organisation (NGO) that has been working with rights-based rural development through education and capacity building in The Gambia for more than 30 years. The aim of the organisation is to bring education closer to the rural people and strengthen their capacity to fight poverty.
Author: Daily Observer