Saturday, 22 September 2007

Food for Work in Nosy Varika


In January 2007 cyclone Clovis hit Nosy Varika and it's surrounding villages. There were no casualties, but many houses were damaged, roads and infrastructures destroyed and the paddy fields which the farmers need for their survival were flooded and all the crops destroyed. The farmers here harvest the rice twice a year. Cyclone Clovis hit both harvests: the dry season rice which was about to be harvested and the wet season rice which had just been sowed in December.

In close cooperation with the World Food Programme, the German Agro Action immediately started an emergency distribution of food, targeting vulnerable families with pregnant women and children under the age of three. Early May a follow-up programme was put in place. The principle is simple: it's "food for work". People work in teams of 20 (12 women and 8 men), and a village can have up to 6 teams working at any one time. They work four days a week from Monday through Thursday (7am-12pm) rebuilding canals, roads and any other infrastructures which have been damaged by the cyclones. In exchange for this work they get food.


Every Friday around 2500 people make their way to the German Agro Action and their food hangar in Nosy Varika, some have to walk as far as 25 kilometers to pick up their entitled 8 kilograms of rice and 1.2 kilograms of dried vegetables.


I guess Léa and I are also doing "food for work"... logging tape during the few hours of electricity, before it's turned off at 10pm -- when the day ends and I curl up under my moscito net...

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