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Cablegate: Ofda-Funded Food Security Activities in The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001550

SIPDIS

AIDAC
STATE FOR AF/C ALLAN EASTHAM, C.PASCHALL
STATE FOR INR/AA
STATE FOR PRM TSTOLTZFUS
AID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA - JBORNS, MMARX, TMCRAE
AID/W FOR DCHA/FFP - DWELLER, NCARLSON, NCOX
AID/W FOR DCHA/OTI - GGOTTLIEB, AMARTIN
AID/W FOR AFR - KO'DONNELL
NAIROBI FOR USAID/OFDA/ARO - KSMITH
NAIROBI FOR USAID/FFP - PFESSENDEN, ADEPREZ
ROME FOR USUN FODAG - TLAVELLE
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH

E.O. 12958; NA

TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM CG
SUBJECT: OFDA-FUNDED FOOD SECURITY ACTIVITIES IN THE
RUZIZI PLAIN AND MIDDLE PLATEAU


1. (U) During a recent visit to the Uvira area, OFDA
Rep Victor Bushamuka viewed USAID/OFDA-funded food
security activities implemented by Action Against
Hunger (AAH-USA) in various parts of the Ruzizi plain.
As part of a larger project, AAH restored irrigation
canals in the Ruzizi plain and rehabilitated fish ponds
in the middle plateau of Uvira. Although the OFDA
project has significantly contributed to the
improvement of food security of IDPs and returnees of
Uvira and Fizi, food security programs will continue to
be needed for at least another year. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) During a recent visit to the Uvira area, OFDA
Rep Victor Bushamuka had the opportunity to evaluate
the efforts by Action Against Hunger (AAH-USA) to
improve food security in various sections of the Ruzizi
plain -- a large, low flat stretch of land extending
northward from the upper border of Lake Tanganyika
along the Ruzizi River. The area has been highly
volatile in terms of security since 1996, with repeated
clashes between armed groups often result in massive
movements of the population within and outside the area
and sometimes into Burundi (as was most recently the
case when the insurgency of Col. Jules Mutebusi
temporarily held the town of Kamanyola for a few days
in June, causing over 20,000 Congolese to flee across
the border).

3. (U) AAH-USA's agricultural activities in the Ruzizi
Plain are part of a larger project funded by USAID/OFDA
to improve food security and to facilitate the re-
establishment of livelihood-sustaining activities for
IDPs, returnees, and other vulnerable populations in
both Uvira and Fizi territories. During the 2003-2004
main agricultural season, AAH-USA distributed 64 metric
tones of food crop seeds including maize, bean, and
peanut, and 570 kg of vegetable seeds to 15,400
households, representing about 77,000 people.
Agricultural tools distributed included 16,400 hoes and
11,400 watering cans. Approximately 500 beneficiaries
in 25 fishing villages along the west shore of Lake
Tanganyika also benefited from a distribution of boats
and fishing nets. AAH-USA estimates that it has already
directly assisted over 85,000 returnees, IDPs and other
vulnerable populations in the two territories.

4. (U) In addition to distributing basic agricultural
inputs, AAH has also helped to rehabilitate dams and
irrigation canals in 6 villages in the Ruzizi Plain and
3 villages along the west shore of Lake Tanganyika as
part of its efforts to promote the re-establishment of
income generating activities. An association of rice
producers also received a rice grinder as part of the
project, and both on the plain and in the "Middle
Plateau" area just above it to the west, AAH has helped
rehabilitate 258 fish ponds for fish farmers.

5. (U) Frequent clashes between various military and
various armed groups, including Mai-Mai and
Interahamwe, have prevented AAH from covering all the
areas as it had originally intended. Ndolera and
Lubarika could not be reached in 2003, becoming
accessible only in February 2004. Clashes between
Interahamwe and military on the Middle Plateau near
Lemera led to a temporary suspension of AAH activities
in that area in March.

6. (U) In the 2004/2005 season, AAH plans to extend
its distribution activities to newly accessible areas,
including the Ndolera and Lubarika of the Middle
Plateau and villages on the Ubwari peninsula south of
Uvira. Additional maize/cassava mills are planned in
2004-2005 for Baraka, Fizi center, Lemera and Ndolera,
and a rice grinder in Nundu. The irrigation
rehabilitation program will be extended to such Middle-
Plateau villages as Kigombo, Rubanga and Kiringye.

7. (U) To reduce the continuing relatively high rate
of malnutrition in the area, AAH intends to work
through local NGOs to promote the production and
consumption of soybean throughout Uvira and Fizi
Territories. In this initiative, seeds will be produced
by selected local NGOs after they have received
training in seed multiplication, soybean production and
transformation procedures. Seeds produced by these NGOs
will be either distributed to new returnees and IDPs or
sold at a reduced price to interested residents in the
2004-2005 planting season. AAH has had success with
soybean promotion in other areas of the project. OFDA
Rep saw a number of flourishing soybean fields in
villages along the axis Makobola-Baraka, south of
Uvira.

-----
Observations
-----

8. (U) Although the OFDA project has significantly
contributed to the improvement of food security of IDPs
and returnees in the territories of Uvira and Fizi,
food security programs will continue to be needed for
at least another year since the area is one of the last
in eastern DRC to benefit from the peace brought to
much of the country by the installation of the
transitional government in June of 2003 and since much
of the area's population has yet to return. MEECE.

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