Manal Hamid

Manal Hamid is a project coordinator at Practical Action Sudan

Recommended reading: http://www.practicalaction.org

Posts by Manal

  • Spreading the message on animal health

    November 28th, 2017

    The overall objective of the LESP-ES animal health project is to contribute to poverty reduction and to eradicate food insecurity in Sudan by improving the livelihoods and resilience of rural smallholders in Kassala, Gedarif and Red Sea states through enhancing livestock productivity.

    The purpose of the project is to ensure that appropriate animal disease surveillance and control is operational in these three states of Eastern Sudan. This will be achieved through improved effectiveness of epidemio–surveillance and control of trans-boundary animal diseases.

    Improvements in veterinary services aim to achieve the following:

    1. Strengthen capacities for epidemio-surveillance and control of cross-boundary animal diseases.
    2. Improve the diagnostic capacities of veterinary laboratories and quarantine facilities
    3. Build awareness and competency of stakeholders to improve animal health and to enhance resilience against epidemics and other animal health related environmental hazards.

    To achieve the third objective it is important to increase the awareness and skills of smallholders and community-based organizations on subjects related to animal health.  This will be achieved through  different activities such as disseminating  leaflets and posters to smallholders, agro-pastoralist communities and community-based organizations including women about relevant diseases.  In addition television and radio show will introduce live dramas, using music and comedy to attract the attention of targeted groups.

    Those different types of communication, using targeted messages to raise awareness of animal diseases were formulated in a simple, attractive way to ensure acceptance and deliver an easy way for people to understand complex scientific materials. Colourful posters and leaflets with plenty of pictures, were distributed during field campaigns, extension meetings, vaccination and treatment missions.

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  • Better veterinary services in remote areas

    October 12th, 2017

    The EU funded Livestock Epidemio Surveillance Programme for Eastern Sudan (LESP-ES) aims to establish effective  epidemio-surveillance and control of trans-boundary animal diseases and priority diseases and link with national institutional frameworks through strengthening capacities for epidemio-surveillance.

    Different activities were conducted to accomplish this including the provision of three check points on the border with Ethiopia, at Basunda in Taya and Galabat as well as Alassera in Guresha.  There are also three interstate check points at Shajarab and Sada  between Gedarif and Kassala State and Khyary between Gedarif and Gezera State.

    In order to provide proper veterinary services at those points, the programme has supplied nine motorbikes at these check points in addition to the three motorbikes already in Gebesha Aburakham and Sefawa to cover the long borders.

    Veterinary technicians were appointed to take responsibility for providing veterinary services and monitoring livestock movements in these vital area, taking into account that livestock  know no borders in their search for pasture and water.

    The programme has helped improve the of skills and experience of veterinary technicians through multiple training courses for those at checkpoints among others.

    Hassan Yousif Abdalla From Guresha was one of these technicians deployed  at the Alassera check point near the Ethiopian border. He expressed his appreciation for the role played by the programme and Practical Action in supporting veterinary services in remote rural areas where it is difficult to find veterinarians because numbers in the state are low.  He said that having an office here was a dream come true. Now it’s much easier to deliver veterinary services and to work with people in different villages as well as those who come asking for help.

    Hassan said that before the motorbikes arrived it was difficult to monitor livestock movements or provide support to pastoralists and animal owners because villages were so scattered  and the roads unpaved.

    “Now I can travel to all surrounding villages and provide veterinary services and meat inspections and to investigate all outbreaks of disease whenever I’m notified.  I can even provide help to pastoralists and animal owners across the border with Ethiopia. They come and ask for help because we are neighbours and have a common weekly livestock market in this area.  The programme had provided me with a mobile phone so anyone can reach me.  I can always ask  the local animal resources directorate for advice when I need it.”

    Hassan said that he provides treatment and extension services even at household level and his work covers more than thirteen villages.  He performs meat inspections at the weekly livestock market and monitors the meat provided at local restaurants for the sake of better public health.

    Hassan is sure of the importance of checkpoints as means of providing veterinary services to poor people in marginalized areas but has some worries about the sustainability of the service after withdrawal programme support.

    Livestock owner Adam Nemer said that the presence of check points in the area encouraged farmers to concentrate on their herds because it is easier now to find support when needed.  He explained:

    “Hassan helps us a lot.  He treats sick animals and provides guidance and advice on how to rear the herd and how to avoid diseases through better nutrition.  He also encourages us to undertake routine vaccination in order to prevent major disease outbreaks.”

    Finally Hassan explained that the caravan should be provided with extra veterinary field tools that would help them in performing their duties.

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  • A step forward for women’s empowerment

    September 25th, 2017

    Livestock Epidemic Surveillance Programme (LESP) , funded by the European Community aims to improve awareness and skills of rural livestock producers and other stakeholders in animal health and production.  It is supporting this community initiative in collaboration with the Animal Resources Directorate in Wassat.  They have formed more than 200 women pastoralist committees covering most of the villages in the region, which have been registered as official committees.

    In addition they helped obtain finance from banks with direct support from the Sudan National Bank as part of a national policy to support the livelihoods of the rural poor. Each household was given three sheep to be raised by the family. The Animal Resource Directorate monitors each committee’s monthly payments to the bank and the health of these small herds.  They have conducted several treatment campaigns which have shown to have had a positive impact on the welfare and livelihoods of rural families.

    Practical Action led the process of forming the women’s pastoralist committee network. Building on its legacy of empowering rural communities especially women and contributing to gender equality through mainstreaming gender issues, we aim to build better understanding of the positive role of such networks in fostering better performance.

    In order to help these pastoralist committees rear their small  herds the programme conducted several training courses related to animal health.  Women attending were shown how to judge the proper health condition of their animals, how to identify a sick animal, which diseases should case major concern and their symptoms and treatment.  The importance of notification of disease to the veterinary authorities and vaccination were among other topics covered.

    The committee’s executives were also trained on project management and financial procedures in order to be able to run their own business.

    Consultation between the partners led to the decision to support a veterinary drug store as a revolving fund  managed by the women pastoralist committees network Executive desk, under the direct supervision of  Animal Resources Directorate at Wassat.

    The programme provided office furniture, stationery and drugs while the Ministry of Animal Resources issued a veterinary drugstore license and appointed a veterinary technician to supervise the service.

    The Department of Health in Wassat offered to host the store in their new health clinic at Abu Alnaja.  This clinic with provide pastoral women with drugs and veterinary assistance at a moderate price which, managed wisely will generate revenue for a revolving fund.

    The opening ceremony of the veterinary drugstore took place on 18 September. The Ministry of Animal Resources was represented by His Excellency the Animal Resources Minister as well as the East Sudan office coordinator and LESP-ES local technical advisor, and representatives from Wassat’s legislative council, members of the women’s pastoralist committees and  villagers of Abu Alnaja villages.

    Following the opening of the store, there was an exhibition,  speeches and a drama.  The ceremony was attended by  students of the University of Alneelen’s Faculty of Animal Production on their annual scientific trip, who indicated their appreciation of the idea and the support given to the community.

     

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  • Learning from sharing in Sudan

    February 23rd, 2017

    Wadi el Ku catchment management project is an EU funded programme jointly implemented by Practical Action, UNEP and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Irrigation in North Darfur.

    Wadi el Ku is situated near El Fasher town and covers an area of 50km with 34 villages.  There are a number of internally displaced people and the area suffers from conflict, poor government resources and poor water use which lead to environmental degradation and negative effects on people’s livelihoods.

     The project supports

    1. Development of inclusive Natural Resource Management (NRM) with a focus on water
    2. Promotion of better livelihood practices and techniques
    3. Building institutional capacities

    The project organised a learning visit to East Sudan for North Darfur extension officials and community leaders on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), agriculture, livestock and forestry innovation.  This formed part of the project’s capacity building programme for government institutions.

    Objectives of capacity building for this project are: 

    1. To improve the state government’s capacity to deliver services to local communities through enhancing the knowledge and skills of government staff
    2. To coordinate natural resource management institutions for joint policy decisions at different levels of government and local community through relationship building.

    Objectives of the visit:

    Wadi el KuTo demonstrate relevant technological innovations, practices and approaches  in the fields of agriculture, livestock, forestry and IWRM in Sudan to government extension officials and community leaders that would be applicable and useful to North Darfur and to the Wadi El Ku catchment in particular.

    Specifically the in-country learning visit is aimed at the following objectives:

    • To provide exposure to extension officials and community leaders from North Darfur to successful IWRM and NRM practices in other parts of Sudan
    • Learn about successful agricultural, livestock and forestry technology adoption and practices in Sudan
    • To bring a rich learning experience on NRM and IWRM practices, an agricultural/livestock/forestry techniques to North Darfur

    On  August Ms. Mariam Ibrahim from UNEP, Sudan visited the Eastern States on a scoping mission to prepare for the visit. In October 2016 team from North Darfur visited the Ministries of Livestock, Agriculture and Forestry.  The met with His Excellency the Minister of Livestock and made field visits to Gedarif Center for Improved Animal Production Techniques, Shwak Quarantine Station and the Regional  Veterinary Laboratory.

    Meeting our brothers from west Sudan was a once in a life time opportunity that give the whole group the chance to interact on both a professional and humanitarian level.

    The visit provided a valuable opportunity to observe and learn about NRM practices from other parts of Sudan and allowed participants to share their own experiences from Wadi El Ku, making it truly a two-way learning exchange.

    The two parties presented their activities at a final work shop.  This was a great opportunity for the Gedarif State participants to learn about the Wadi el Ku project.

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  • A new dawn for livestock health in Eastern Sudan

    November 24th, 2016

    The Livestock Epidemio Surveillance Programme (LESP-ES), funded by the European Union, aims to improve the livelihoods and resilience to food insecurity of about 427,000 vulnerable rural smallholders in the three Eastern Sudan states Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea.

    The planned interventions aim to strengthen the technical capacities of regional veterinary services through achieving three results:

    1. Technical capacities for coordinated epidemio-surveillance and control of trans-boundary animal diseases strengthened at state level
    2. Diagnostic capacity of veterinary laboratories and quarantine facilities at state and locality levels improved.
    3. Awareness and skills of rural livestock producers and other stakeholders concerning animal health, production and trade are improved.

    LESP meetingOne of the main concerns is the improvement of the diagnostic capacity of veterinary laboratories and quarantine facilities at state and local levels. Activities that will help achieve this are the improvement of  the work environment through rehabilitation of the Gedarif Veterinary Regional laboratory, provision of  furniture and  increasing the capacity of cold chain facilities for storage of samples.  The Regional Veterinary Research Laboratory plays a crucial role in livestock export through the diagnosis of trade relevant diseases such as Brucella.

    Dr HamadDr. Hatim Hamad, director of the laboratory, indicated that the support he had received from Practical Action through LESP project is unprecedented and could not be afforded by the Ministry of Finance. He indicated that the enhancement of the work environment had contributed positively to best practices and the support to the cold chain facilities enable the laboratory to accommodate the samples of more than 13 veterinary professionals pursuing their Masters degrees as well as the training of veterinarians and veterinary technicians/

    He also noted that the support  received enabled the laboratory to open a new tick identification and classification unit taking in consideration the importance of tick borne diseases. He added that the epidemio-surveillance field missions executed through  the project will enable the collection of tick samples from different state localities and during this period he had successfully  identified Hyaloma species for the first time in Gedarif State.

    LESP activityHe indicated that the provision of better diagnostic tools and equipment will improve the diagnostic capacities of the lab tremendously and help in meeting the OIE requirement which is considered one of the major ways in which the programme has added value.

    Dr Hamad expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted by Practical Action towards the development of Eastern Sudan States and his wish to continue cooperation between Practical Action and Ministry of Livestock in the future.

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  • A glimpse of the lives of Sudanese women

    March 16th, 2016

    I am an ordinary Sudanese woman. I grew up in an extended family that had an impact on my beliefs, behavior and attitudes.  I came across  stories about my grandfather and the difference in his way of raising his sons and daughters. Although he was illiterate he pursued the path of education for his sons  and struggled to do that with tremendous success, but when it comes to his daughters an interesting deviation from this track surprised me.  I was told that he pulled out of school one of my aunts who happened to be very clever  because she gained higher grades in her exams than my uncle.  Women have struggled in our country for centuries, but it’s not because of religion but rather a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of men’s domination of women.

    Sudanese women peace building projectWhile I was growing up, my uncle, a university graduate, talked  to me about forbidden magazines and books.  I shared  all my reading  with  my father, but never felt the need to hide any book or magazine from him, a lesson which  I applied with my daughter. I never intrude on her privacy, never read or sign in to her social media profiles  or sneak behind her back. But this does not mean that she doesn’t understand  that there are lines she should not cross regarding our culture, norms and religion.

    This is a complicated issue, it’s not just about a difference in behavior or ways of thinking between illiterate and educated men who have the ultimate power over females, but it is about the way they have been raised either to treat women as equals or not.

    Women embrace certain  behaviours even if it is not in their interest. I remember once when one of my neighbours was visiting, I spoke about how I refrain from threatening the life of my daughters through the inhumane process of FGM.  All of a sudden they looked at me as if I were a total stranger and  treated me in a way that gave me the feeling that I should be ashamed of myself  for what I had done. At that moment I was totally devastated and depressed because to that point I believed that we in Sudan had come so far in the path of fighting FGM. But in reality we were still way behind and we should exert greater efforts to succeed in this battle.

    No one has the right to deny women from feeling whole, from behaving naturally, from enjoying their lives and from feeling secure without being shocked and traumatized.

    As females living in the Middle East and Africa we are surrounded with multiple threats and huge challenges but no matter how they try to break us we should fight back through collaboration, coordination and awareness raising because deep in our hearts we believe that at the end of this dark tunnel there is the brightness of a glorious future where women will fulfill their dream goal of equality, justice and equity.

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