South Sudan

South Sudan became an independent country in 2011 after a long civil war between the Arab north and the Black African south of Sudan.  One result of this was that not all tribes fighting against oppression from the Sudanese government ended up with their homelands in South Sudan, hence they are still in conflict and civilians have been forced to flee across borders into Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan as refugees.

An initial visit by our partners in 2013 identifed a great need and opportunity to help numerous small tribes from the Blue Nile area of Sudan who are refugees in Maban County.  Thus Intec Services was formed and registered in 2015 in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.  The refugees were struggling to survive and support their families on aid rations and one of their greatest needs was to be empowered to farm again.  Intec Services Farming Project, a small social business, began in 2016 with a pilot of 200 farmers.  The project has run for 3 farming seasons and expanded each year; the 2018-19 season saw over 1,400 farmers empowered, across ten sub-projects with 8 different tribes.  

Demand is great and capacity is currently limited; in order to enable the expansion required to help all those that ask, additional support is needed.

Who are these refugees?

There are over 130,000 Sudanese refugees in Maban county housed in 4 large camps.  The camp numbers range from 18,000 people/4,000 households to as many as 51,000/12,000 households. 

The refugees are made up of many different Islamic people groups including the Ingessana, Ragarik, Jumjum and sub-tribes of the Berta and the Burun.

How does Intec Services work?

  • By liaising with the authorities, via the local people group, land is granted to the refugees.  Seed is initially provided to the farmers but after the harvest a portion is kept to use the next season.  After living hand-to-mouth for years, this also helps them to get back into the practice of saving for the future.  

  • Farmers choose their crops - sorghum, maize, sesame, ground nuts etc.  Intec Services can source locally available varieties which is not only cheaper to buy than imported, but being native to the area they grow more successfully.

  • Pesticides are needed as temperatures don't drop low enough for pests to die off in "winter".  Locally available pesticides are provided by Intec Services.

  • Tribal leaders choose 3-6 responsible farmers from each community to form a farming committee to oversee distribution of land, seeds and pesticides and be responsible for the return of 10% of the harvest.

  • Farmers use traditional methods and harvest by hand with their families.  The work is therefore sustainable and replicable on a wide scale.  Broader benefits of the project include:
    • opportunity to be empowered to help themselves after years being forced to live from handouts
    • affirmation of dignity and greater self-esteem and motivation
    • opportunity to teach the next generation the same skills

Current needs:

In 2019-20 the aim is to empower 1,500 farmers to provide food for their families.  With this number the cost per farmer for the current season would be £50.

On a practical level, there is need for more efficient internet, transport and rain!

 

 




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