Integrated development Huila and Namibe
Integrated Community Development in Huíla and Namibe was launched against a background of increasing problems regarding access to water, no electricity beyond main population centres, inadequate health cover and traditional sustenance smallholdings. The project was necessary to overcome the lack of reliable sources of safe water for 10,000 families and to provide water for animal stock. Electricity was needed to power the water pumps that deliver water to the communities and to run basic installations such as light at eight schools and both light as well as refrigerators at eight health posts. The 105 Community Agents, who provide broad disease prevention, hygiene and sanitation services and refer people to clinics or hospitals for treatment, are an important part of the project because they reach remote homes, reinforce health messages and maintain a link between the community and public health departments. Farmer Field Schools are important because they facilitate the training of farmers and herders in conservation techniques and methods that maximise production in the face of short-term climatic variability and longer-term climate change.
The integration of the above components is contributing to greater community food security through improved agricultural production health and education. In 2020, the objective of improving the quality of life of the target populations continued, with an expansion of activities, plans for new solar energy and water borehole sites, HIV testing for pregnant women, rapid malaria testing, health and sanitation mobilisation, lessons and health actions at schools and training of farmers in conservation agriculture and horticulture.
The activities and results of the first half year of 2020, which can be seen below organized by components, was affected by the state of emergency declared in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Site visits in advance of the handover of installations, for example, could not go ahead, meetings and gatherings of large numbers were not permitted and schools were closed. Despite this, the results for the semester were positive.
The effect of the project is that all the components individually benefit the community and collectively reinforce each other, spurring integrated development. Access to water and electricity has a marked impact on otherwise underserved rural populations, as do community and school health programs in supporting the transformations these services bring to the target communities through knowledge of disease prevention and treatment; and the outcomes of Farmer Field Schools on agricultural production.
In brief, these effects are:
- Improved health through the provision of safe drinking water in eight communities
- Increased access to health and education facilities through renewable energy serving eight communities
- 10,000 families with increased knowledge on disease prevention and treatment, hygiene and sanitation, including information and practical assistance in tackling the possible arrival of Covid-19 in the area
- Increase in agricultural production through training in conservation farming, irrigation, improved seed varieties and greater crop variety
- Greater sustainability of infrastructures through training of local technicians
- Improved community food and nutrition security
- A reduction in poverty through the production of surplus for sale Improved environmental conditions through modern farming techniques, awareness and tree planting.
Despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the declaration of a state of emergency by the government, the project continued to have an impact on communities and individuals in the implementation areas. With an expected resumption of all activities in the second semester, including the location of new sites for solar energy systems and water bore holes, the effect of the project will be felt by many more people.