Casamance Returnee Assistance (CARA) Project, Senegal
January 28, 2008
The CARA project is a one year project that targets villages in the Sindian-Sous prefecture and focuses on rebuilding rural livelihoods. CARA will support refugees to return, resettle and rebuild their lives in this conflict-affected region of Casamance through combining improved, appropriate and sustainable farming practice and income generating activities.
The former will contribute towards food security and the latter towards economic security, better enabling families to access health and education services. An emphasis on natural resource management further supports the creation of a sustainable and protected environment for the returnee community. Essentially this project will provide training and material to three separate groups of beneficiaries: • 200 returnees will receive farming training and seeds + extension support; • 80 returnees will receive beekeeping training and support; and • 100 returnees will receive resource management training. This project will create stronger community stability and wider social cohesion initiatives. The impact will therefore not be limited to only the participants in the project but will benefit the entire local community. The project will also have a positive influence on the economic and environmental conditions in the region. REI has funded previous projects managed by this group with good results.
200 returnees received seeds for planting and 215 returnee farmers received training in improved farming techniques. Most of the farmers are now putting these techniques into practice. L, 160 returnees were also trained in sustainable forest management. This training resulted from growing concerns about the continuous depletion of the forest’s resources and a lack of knowledge about how to address the issue.
Araba Kujabi of Nema Ginareg village has benefited from 200 kgs of groundnut from the CARA Seed Programme and bought 1 extra 100kgs privately. After harvest time, he made 52 bags of 100kgs each. Araba kept 15 bags for seeds for the next farming season and has repaid 200 kgs to the seed bank. He has also sold 12 bags of 100kgs each not decorticated and has earned 14,400 GMD. With this money, Araba said he purchased a new bicycle for his son to go to school. He also plans to buy a donkey cart to enhance his farm work in the coming farming seasons.