Building Harmonious Communities in Kutum Locality - January 2015
About the project

T his project is targeting 11 settlements in Kutum locality of 80,338 population about 16,067 families comprising of seven farmers villages, including Kassab and Fatta Barno IDPs Camps, and returnees and four nomadic/pastoralist villages along the Northen Migratory route namely Fata Barno, Kasab, Misri, Gurir, Abd Alshakor (a number of small villages), Mostarya (a number of small villages), Frog, Molagat and Ean Sero. These communities have different tribal groups the majority belong to Fur, Zaghawa, Arab and other minor tribes as well as IDPs and returnees that make up around 60%.The vast majority of the targeted communities are agro-pastoralists engaged in both crop production and livestock raring crossing villages populated by farmers and pre-dominantly pastoralist Arab communities.

The activities of this project is aligned to the overall goal stated by Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF) which is to address the root causes of violence and provide platforms for dialogue to promote reconciliation across ethnic, tribal and political divides by facilitating confidence and trust at the grassroots level. It also aims to stabilize communities while restoring trust and confidence between communities and paving the way towards early recovery. The overall objective of this project is to promote community harmonization and socio economic development within Kutum locality communities - North Darfur State.

Plan International -Sudan Darfur program in a partnership with UNDP DCPSF section implemented the project to contribute in building harmonious communities in Kutum that are able to address the root causes of the conflicts through interrelated interventions. To achieve the ultimate project goal Plan International Sudan partnered with Sustainable action Group SAG (National non-governmental organization) and implemented collaborative community development and recovery activities using community based approaches valuing from Plan International Sudan long successful experience in community-managed microfinance and enterprises, market-based small business development, farmers’ field schools aiming at strengthening the cooperation among the diverse community tribes over the disputed resources. In addition, and most importantly, strengthening the role of the community leaders, building their capacities and joining them together in entities and under one umbrella of peace building and conflict resolution committees & networks.

Our achievements
The project managed to bring together different leaders of communities and tribes and succeeded in the formation of seven peace building committees with membership of 245 (105 females& 140 males) including youth, women’s groups, and men from different tribes in (Kassab Fatabarno IDPs, Abdo El Shakoor host, IDPs, Gurir, Misri, Damart El Sheikh, Abdo El Bagi, Frog, Ensiro and El Goba) and established three Peace networks out of the committees. Where the committees started to take initiatives to promote inter communal dialogue involving different villages along the nomadic corridors. There are indications that the peace committees have gained more legitimacy in bringing different stakeholders both from the local government as well as traditional leaders together in an effort to enhance information exchange and find agreeable solutions to potential conflicts.

Coordination meetings among pastoralist and farmer communities along the nomadic corridors led by the peace committees took place to facilitate dialogue and put in place mitigation measures ahead of the seasonal animal migration. Regular trainings on conflict resolution targeting different tribal groups and peace committees continue to equip these structures with the necessary skills to resolve interpersonal as well as communal conflicts. Trainings on conflict resolution skills attracted high participation from community members covering more than the intended number of trainees.

Enhancing community engagement in collective and joint work:
The project succeeded on enhancing the community collective work for mutual benefits bringing all the different tribes in two main villages and ten other surrounding, the majority tribes living in these villages are Fur, Tunjur, Zagawa, Berti and Arab. Two haffirs were rehabilitated with excavation of sand and with a capacity of 70 to 120 to three meters each. These Naffirs involved different tribal members from 12 villages.

The work has been accomplished through organization of numbers of joint Nafeers in participation of 3000 individuals Cooperation of different communities witnessed during the joint Naffir activities to rehabilitate and maintain the Haffir for mutual benefit of the different residents in the area. Consequently, two water management committees have been formulated with representation of all tribes around the Haffirs, series of capacity building have been provided with main focus on conflict resolution.

Improving families’ income and improving communities’ social interaction and cooperation
The project managed to form and build the capacity of a number of 14 village savings and loan groups with a total number of 222 members (10 males and 112 females) from different tribal background, these groups are forms of community social interaction and cooperation, this activity has had impact at two levels, increasing social interaction and cooperation among the diverse tribal members and mobilizing savings

and loans for collective and individual productive activities bearing in mind that, groups’ managed to mobilize an amount of SDG 27,510 . The formation of VS&L groups in Fatabarno and Kassab IDPs has increased the trust among the members of different tribes in terms of mobilization and management of savings, equal participation in the management structure of the groups as well as equal access to loans and productive activities.

In the same manner, the project managed to assess the market needs and identify potential businesses and income generation activities that are appropriate for target groups to strengthen livelihoods skills among women and youth. Accordingly, the project managed to provide livelihood small business development skills training for 378 (220 female and 158 males) community members including youth, women and men from Fatabarno& Kassab IDPs, Kutum, Damaratelsheikh, Abdelshakoor and Gubaa communities.

As per the monitoring visits, community meetings and activities review, the training has had a good outcome where six business groups formulated and achieved starting up of 56 individual small businesses. Such outcome provided the communities with alternative livelihood opportunities and reduced the tension among the different members around the disputed resources. 60 participants from Kassab, Fatabrno IDPs have received Training of community trainers on Mud Stove production, in addition to this, a number of 1000 Barkley Darfur Stoves BDS stoves distributed to 1000 household which directly resulted in reducing community members money expenses on the cooking wood as beneficiaries confirmed that, they used to spend SDG 120 per month on purchasing cooking wood and after receiving these stoves they only spend SDG25 per month, reducing the time spent in cooking, in line with do no harm to environment through reducing the environmental impact:

More importantly, this activity enhanced the women security regarding mobility around settlements to bring fire wood. Above all, these activities always accompanied by peace building forums and discussions involving community leaders and members.In order to promote cooperation over disputed livelihood assets between farmers and pastoralists; the project has provided farmers and pastoralists with livelihoods skills training on manure compost, farmers’ field schools, and distributed manual agricultural tools and improved seeds targeting around 1000 households. The productivity of most crops has increased for instance :( Sesame from five to seven sack per Feddan, Okra from two to six sack, and for the first time new type of Millet crop have been domesticated in the area with a productivity of six sacks per feddan.

The project provided training for 40 (15 Female and 25Male) on veterinary services in Abdelshakoor, Gubaa, Gurir, Mesri and trainings on Community animal health attended for 110 (61F/49M) in Abelshakoor, Fatabarno, Kutum and Damrat. This had reflected in good impact on the animal health of the communities where animal vaccination compagin conducted targeted 20,000 animal heads (1 0,000 Sheep& Goats) (8000 Camles) (2000 Caws) in Gurir, Gubaa and Abdelshakoor. The monitoring visits revealed that, all the vaccinated animal are free from Smallpox disease which hit the animal area recently.

The change we have made
Women in Kutum are considered as one of the most vulnerable groups. They suffered a lot from the severe war in the area, The major occupation of the people is traditional farming numbers of villages were destroyed where it became very harsh for the survivals to settle. Most of the survivals have been settled in IDPs camps around Kutum where the project serves. This project designed to build the harmony among the different members, tribes in Kutum through collective and joint activities including development and recovery interventions.

Fatima is a married woman with five children, who was displaced from her village of Folo in 2004. After a long suffering journey she successfully escaped with her children and reached Kassab IDPs camp after she lost all what she had .“ My family and I have been depending on aids that humanitarian organizations are providing since we joined the camp although I used to be a hard and active worker. When Plan Sudan and SAG announced the DCPSF project,, I got the opportunity to join the project in different activities trainings on social peace building which opened the opportunity for me to know and participate with other community members from different tribes and changed the misunderstandings I had about the conflicts and increased my confidence to live with others without fear” Said Fatima. “I was one of the lucky women who joined the small business development trainings where five of us started up their own business .I started with a small shop where I became able to cover the my basic needs and the needs of my children. Other 56 from my colleagues started individual businesses too” Fatima added.

Abdueshakoor area is a part of Kutum locality in North Darfur which affected by the war crisis, It is about(35-37)KM far North Kutum .The population composed of number of tribes most of them are farmers and agro-pastoralists ,this was one of most affected communities by Darfur crisis, that destroyed lives and community assets. Community members lost all their property this is in addition to the impact of the drought which the area is still suffering from .The productivity of agricultural is very low productivity due to the traditional methods of farming.

As part of the DCPSF project, Plan International- Sudan with SAG (LNGO) targeted Abdelshakoor communities with to create harmonious communities in Kutum locality. The project targeted farmers groups in Abdualshkoor with technical practical agricultural trainings including the innovative approach of Terraces plantation as well as improved seeds that resistant to pests

This collaborative activity which was accompanied with peace building and conflict resolution dialogues resulted in, increasing the average productivity of Okra from two to six sacks per feddan, Sesame and Millet from five to seven sacks per feddan, tomato from 20 boxes to 60 boxes per feddan.

What do the beneficiaries said about the project?
“I have got six feddans of farm land but I used to grow only two fiddans because of the low productivity. Till I joined the DCPSF training programs organized by Plan Sudan and SAG, and with the modern farming techniques and the farming facilities, I planted four Feddans instead of the two I used to plant. I learned from the trainings provided to us on farming techniques how to increase productivity. This season was safe for me and my productivity per Feddan increased as follows: Millet from one sack in the two seasons before to six sacks, Sorghum from three to five sacks, Sesame from three to five sacks and Okra from three to seven sacks. I also learned from other different topics including the way we live in the area and how peace can be our daily dialogue and that has added more to my knowledge.” Said Osman 67 years old, a farmer and lives in Kargolaa village in Abduelshkoor

“I participated with other community members from different tribes in the trainings on farmers field school and compost organic manure production. I learnt new modern farming methods which are completely different from the way I know specially the land preparation, plantation spaces, preparation and use of the organic manure, terraces construction and use of improved seeds that appropriate to my land. Accordingly, I put in to practice what I have learnt which increased the productivity of my land which is only one feddan. I grew different vegetables for example: Tomato productivity increased from 25 Boxes to 50-60 boxes per feddan. With the improved productivity I managed to solve and clear my Debts and improve my standard of living and cover schooling expense of my children as well. I became a modern farmer and will look forward to taking the approach forward and expanding my farming activities. Other benefit I got from the project is the peace building orientations and forums we conducted which maintained the relationships with all of my peer farmers and the pastoralists, he added” Said Malik - 45 years old farmer, - Abdualgani villege in Abduelshkoor .

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