Integrated projects that address several problems at once
The garden produce (vegetables, millet, etc.) feeds the school canteen, improves the nutritional status of the children and boosts schooling. "Since the implementation of the project, we have seen a decrease in the number of cases of malnutrition in the health center and the number of students has increased in the school. From 200 students in 2019, there are now more than 400 students," says Mr. Hamit Brahim, project manager of the NGO Moustagbal, a WFP partner. The school garden and the community field supply both the households and the school. The one-hectare area has increased fourfold, creating a surplus of production that could be sold on other markets.
In light of these promising results, Mr. Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative in Chad, says that the school canteen must be a priority. "If it were up to me, the school canteen would be integrated into all elementary schools in Chad," he said.
Another integrative project involves the installation of a community forest on an empty area, to combat desertification, climate change and to slow down the winds that cause damage in the villages of Djoukoulkouli and Chawir in the Guéra, and Amdjoufour in the Batha.
In Djoukoulkouli, about 100 vulnerable households have been identified to benefit from the cash-for-work program. Beneficiaries go into the bush to collect local seeds for the nurseries. These villagers buy water to irrigate the nurseries and planted shrubs, because, they say, "there is no water here, even for drinking”. The nearest water point is, according to them, 2 km away and, once there, everyone has to wait their turn.
More than 12,000 seedlings have been planted since 2020 on the empty 20-hectare space, which will become a community forest at the foot of the mountain range commonly referred to as the "Queen of the Guéra," and which often serves as a natural windbreak for the town of Mongo and its surroundings. "Working in this space allows us not only to have food, but also to own property. There are people who didn't have chickens in their homes, others didn't have small ruminants. Now we can have all this thanks to the support of Moustagbal and WFP," says Hawa, a 40-year-old resident of Djoukoulkouli.
In Amdjoufour in the Batha, WFP and the Evangelical Community Development Project (PEDC) a national NGO, have integrated agriculture with the establishment of the community forest. This practice is called agroforestry. Thus, the planted trees, following the half-moon technique, will grow along with rainfed and flood-recession crops. This allows, in the short term, to create sources of income for the members of the groups that work in this area. In the medium term, the village will be greened up and will be protected from the strong winds that blow away everything in their path.