Assisting farmers caught between armed groups and hunger to rebuild in Nana-Mambéré
Agriculture, the main source of income for the people of Baboua and Gallo in western Central African Republic (CAR) has been disrupted due to clashes between armed groups. The latest analysis of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification reveals a deteriorating situation, particularly in the Nana-Mambéré Prefecture, where the population live in dire food insecurity. This already alarming situation has further worsened due to COVID-19. The 6,000 inhabitants of the towns of Baboua and Gallo, bordering Cameroon has become accustomed to getting most supplies from Cameroon due to its proximity and its more affordable prices. The movement restrictions enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19 further exacerbated the people’s vulnerability, as there were, suddenly, restrictions put in place to cross the border.
With the financial support from the Humanitarian Fund for CAR, the NGO DanChurchAid provided seeds and farming tools to families in need. The most destitute people also receive food vouchers in the form of electronic coupons.
Moussa Tanko is one of the beneficiaries. He hopes to have enough food for his family, consisting of his wife and seven children, after the harvest. Originally a cattle breeder, Moussa became a farmer after losing his cattle during an escape from armed clashes in 2019. "I couldn't manage to feed my family properly. The support we receive is a blessing. The cassava we received and planted has grown and we are now eating the vegetables. Soon I will be able to harvest red beans. My family won't starve anymore.” On one hectare, Moussa planted the seeds received, including red beans, cassava, maize and groundnuts.
Like Moussa, 625 families composed of 3,125 people in Baboua received seeds and hoes. In addition, 375 of the most vulnerable families of 1,875 people, including widows, people with disabilities, orphans and the elderly, received emergency food through electronic vouchers distributed in the villages of Baboua, Gallo, Donbayeke, and Beloko. This assistance means that families will not be forced to consume the seeds that are meant to be planted to make up for food shortage.
Although this assistance has enabled Moussa and the other beneficiaries in Baboua and Gallo to restart agricultural activities and get some food on the table, other needs, such as access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation, have yet to be met.