ActionAid International The Gambia has raised the alarm for the people of this small state in West Africa. There is not much time but if we act immediately a major humanitarian crisis on the scale of the drought in East Africa could just be averted.
First and foremost, the community needs food and water for people in the community, but also for the livestock and planting seeds. The latter is just as critical as ensuring the community has drinking water. It’s important that ActionAid doesn’t just help to feed people for a day – but support them to be independent and provide for themselves in the ongoing months of this food crisis. Healthy livestock, access to seed and crops is all vital for this.
Our food distribution plan will target the most vulnerable. The communities will work with us to identify households with no food at all and those on one meal a day; households with no livestock which could be used for food; households with no employment income and households which do not receive any remittances from extended family members. The community will manage grain banks to ensure a fair food distribution.
Community representatives are going to continue working to provide ActionAid with more information on the numbers of the worst-affected households (including households headed by women).
Communities have identified food-for-work interventions such as soil conservation through tree-planting and soil erosion control, and rehabilitation of wells and boreholes.
Back in the capital, Kujejatou Manne, Country Director, will be visiting the Vice President to get the government’s perspective on the food crisis, and feedback on our response Gambia’s response.