5th Sudan National Discourse Forum: Communities Participations in Development Projects (2-3)
The role of civil society organizations in supporting communities’ participation in development projects was the issue of focus in the 5th Forum of the Sudan Discourse Forum on 29th July, 2012.
In a welcomed gesture the Sudanese Businessmen Association (SBU) have hosted the Forum as an indicator of the growing relationship of cooperation between the private sector and the civil society organizations (NGOs).In the first part of this article, we review the paper presented by Ms. Amal Bushura. Community Development Project and on this second part the focus will be on presentation by Ms. Abda Osman on the Butana Rural Comprehensive Development Scheme (ARCDS).
The ARCDS covers five states; Khartoum, Kassala, Gezira, Gedarif and River Nile States, an area that host during the rainy season 8.2 million livestock and is the home for 800,000 persons. During the last years, the increase in the numbers of livestock with the decrease in rainfalls and the un-regulated avenues to pastoral lands; have led to the serious deterioration in the postural lands in Butana.
The Commission was established in 2008 by a Presidential Decree and funded by the Government of Sudan, IFAD and the targeted local communities in the five states.
The development and sustainability of natural resources to insure the reduction of rural poverty reduction was one of the prime targets of the Scheme vide the empowerment of small producers, men and women, economically and socially on all aspects of life and strengthen developmental sustainability. The ways to achieve this aims were identified in the need for a legal framework and laws that insure organized access to land and water resources in the Butana Area. Another target was to improve the poor men and women access to markets and build their negotiations capacity in the livestock markets and build the capacities of communities based organizations (CBOs) to actively participate in the implementation of sustainable development initiatives that are environmentally sustainable and socially just for the two genders.
The project have four components : the organizational and administrative structures; development of natural resources administrations systems in agriculture, pastoral , forests and water; development and marketing of livestock resources and the fourth and last component is the development of the targeted communities on a participatory and sustainable manner
This was reflected in the structure of the Scheme Board of Directors, the Commission, the 5 coordination committees in the states and the communities’ development organizations at the society’s level.
The expected outcomes of the scheme will be an increase in the utilization of pastoral lands in addition to increase in agricultural yields and livestock productivity. Provision and improvements in the management of water resources by the communities and the rehabilitation of the livestock markets by equipping it with modern ICT (Information Communication Technology).The ultimate goal is to secure sustainable natural resources utilization and organizing and building the communities organizations to administrate developmental activities and promote it in a sustainable base while insuring a kind of gender parity in the administration and benefits of the implemented activities. The improvement of the basic education environment in the targeted communities is also a major goal.
|Sudan National Discourse Forum|
The scheme methodology is based on several pillars the most important of which are that the targeted villages and communities where selected by a committee from the locality on an agreed upon criteria and measurements. The adaptation of the community participation approach to enable the CBOs to administrate the natural resources and social services. In addition to the use of the most effective technical interventions while taking into consideration the environmental and cultural characteristics of the different areas of the scheme. The focus on the production of animal feed, forests plantation and agriculture in addition to the use of other feeds for the livestock. This include the cooperation with agricultural research institutions and a three dimension approach that includes the official institutions of water ,agriculture and livestock and the communities at the state and localities levels with the utilization of surplus water resources in agriculture. The cost recovery approach will be introduced to insure the sustainability of the work of the services.
The scheme interventions include the mapping of all resources in the targeted states and areas the revision of the local regulation on the utilization pf natural resources and encourage communities to promote regulations in the administration and protection of natural resources.
The local societies are funding 25 percent of the scheme cost .while the women participation in the development committees have reached 34 percent at the end of 2011 compared to 29 in the year 2009,while their share in pastoral groups have been 38 percent in addition to their active participation in feeding education initiative and the initiatives fund. In general there was a large women participation in all the scheme different projects.
The scheme face many challenges is non-coordination in ammonization polices between the different states and lack of prudent policies in the administration of water utilities and taking into account the pastoral need in water investments. The lack of awareness of the local communities of the importance of services fees in the sustainability of the projects. The lack of the utilization of valleys through water harvesting and the seasonal immigration which leads to instability in the lives of individuals and families which are the result of immigration to the cities and mining areas and also due to drought in some areas.
Many lessons have been learned from the Scheme experience ,mainly that the focus on increasing productivity ,better seeds and water harvesting have reduced the horizontal expansion in the agricultural areas which alternatively led to the preservation of trees and natural forests . The study of the animal feeds gaps when allocation livestock which helps in addressing these gaps by the production and provision of animal feeds. In addition to the selection of new communities around the present communities which enable the good utilization of natural resources. Women participation is till below the required level in pastoral, forests and livestock wealth which makes it necessary for a more focus on their empowerment and building their capacities for a more active participation.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, 07/08/2012