Some 650 people work on a WFP-supported fish farming and market gardening project at Wiski, one of two such Food for Work initiatives in the Kasumbalesa area of Katanga province. WFP provides monthly food coupons with which workers can buy staple foodstuffs in local shops.
In this area along the border with Zambia, there is a high rate of HIV/AIDS – 16 per cent according to 2006 estimates. Not all the workers are HIV-positive but, for those who are, the food they buy with WFP coupons helps them maximize the effect of the anti-retroviral drugs they are taking.
There are currently 16 community fish ponds for the farming of tilapia at Wiski. The project - a partnership between the Belgian Cooperation Development agency (CTB); Katanga’s ministry for agriculture, fishing and rural development; the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and WFP – provides much-needed local employment.
This sprat is not fully grown and was returned to the pond. Kasongo Kuluba (holding the fish) says the project has really made a difference to him and his family. His wife works in the market garden and their four children attend the local school.
More than 400 children go to the nearby Ecole Pompage which is currently being refurbished thanks to a grant of US $58,000 from the Korean car manufacturer, Daewoo. As from September 2013, WFP will provide daily school meals to the pupils who have been sitting on bricks on the ground while members of the community work to finish two classroom buildings.
Women use mud from termite mounds (top left of picture with vegetation sprouting from the top) to build dykes for more fish ponds – when it sets, the earth will be nearly as solid as concrete. The new fish ponds are being constructed in an area with a better supply of fresh water.
Josephine Ilunga has been working on the project for three months. “Getting food each month really helps,” she says, “and both my children are in good health.” She also grows her own vegetables in the community plots and sells some of the produce locally.
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