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FIOH to contribute in addressing food shortage in Gambia

Mar 22, 2012, 1:37 PM

Future in Our Hands (FIOH), a Swedish NGO operating in The Gambia, yesterday announced it is making plans to contribute in alleviating some of the worst effects of the looming food shortage facing The Gambia.

The organisation plans to give assistance to sixteen villages in the Lower, Central and Upper River regions, areas likely to be most affected by food shortages owing to last year’s poor rains and exacerbated by increased world food prices.

“FIOH has previously established a series of cereal banks in these communities and has provided training on effective storage, seed selection and proper stock management.

“This initiative has already helped these villages to ensure that they have access to a consistent supply of food during the so called ‘hungry period’ between harvests.”

The NGO said in its news release that the pending food shortages mean that the cereal banks are unlikely to be able to cope with the unprecedented demand so extra stock will be needed.

Bubacarra Camara, Senior Programme Officer of FIOH said: “We intend to improve the current capacity of the cereal banks in our sixteen recipient village communities. Estimates indicate that there has been a 70% reduction in crop yield this year which will create a huge demand for extra food aid.

We are currently assessing the needs of each community with a view to providing assistance which will enable them to ‘top up’ their cereal banks meaning that there will be a consistent supply of food, especially for the most vulnerable households, during any shortage.

“We will also continue to roll out with our cereal bank training, which educates villages how to efficiently stockpile food which will help people become more resilient to weather-related crises such as droughts.”

It is estimated that up to one million people in The Gambia may require food assistance due to the current food shortage.

Future in Our Hands (FIOH) has been working with rights-based rural development organisations through education and capacity building in The Gambia for more than 30 years.

The aim of the organisation is to bring education closer to the rural people to strengthen their capacity to fight poverty.