Chad : ICRC launches income generating projects to displaced women and those hosting them in eastern Chad
07-03-2007 News Release
The ICRC has recently introduced several income generating projects to benefit groups of women among host and displaced communities in the conflict affected regions of Assoungha (Alacha/ Goungour towns) and Dar Sila (Tour/Dogdoré towns) respectively.
These projects have all been designed in close collaboration with the concerned communities and respond to very specific local needs. The aim of all the projects is to boost existing income generating activities by providing mechanisms which will generate a higher output at a faster rate for the women who are normally the primary cultivators and sellers of cash crops.
ICRC introduction of several key sustainable income generating projects: manual pedal irrigation pumps, brick production and oil pressing
Near the riverbeds, water is available all year round for vegetable gardening, but the size of the plots is limited by the distance the water has to be carried. The ICRC has launched a program of easily assembled pedal pumps to irrigate 8000m2 parcels of land, to enable women to increase the surface of their vegetable gardens and increase the harvest of marketable vegetables more than 10 fold.
To improve the storage of the grain harvest, the ICRC has provided a manual brick press and technical assistance to produce sun-dried bricks of much greater strength than the hand made version to build storage houses. These bricks are made from local materials and don't require any ovens, nor firewood, in areas where wood supply is already exhausted. Once the storage houses are built, the brick press remains on the spot and will be used by the community to make bricks for sale.
To bridge the food production gap in the dry season, the women in some villages near the Bar Azoum seasonal river press oil from the fruit of local trees as another source of income. However, this is an extremely slow and labour-intensive process. The ICRC has introduced an oil press which is easy to use and produces greater quantities of oil with less effort.
Since the beginning of 2006, the ICRC has been assisting over 40,000 displaced people in eastern Chad, in the regions of Assoungha and Dar Sila, bordering Sudan, who have been the targets of cross border incursions by cattle raiders as well as victims caught in the crossfire of inter-communal violence fuelled also by the growing internal conflict between Government forces and armed opposition groups.
These regions have suffered increased insecurity with a new wave of violent clashes and raids following the July-September rains in 2006, causing the number of displaced people to double from an estimated 50,000 to nearly 100,000. Some of the displaced were forced to flee a second time and had to abandon their harvests and any chance of eking out a living.
Additionally, trade in large areas of Dar Sila has been hampered by the insecurity, and once thriving markets have become more dependent on local produce.
The ICRC has been assisting internally displaced people in Chad since October 2005 when the first major displacement occurred. Its assistance comprises food and basic non-food items, seeds and tools and is complemented with water projects specifically intended to increase the supply to both the displaced and host populations in order to meet increased demand caused by the large influx of displaced people. The ICRC also assists health posts serving IDP and host communities.
For further information, please contact:
Anahita Kar, ICRC Chad, tel. + 235 6 20 10 05