Community-based conflict reduction and peacebuilding in Kebkabiya
Project Duration: 1 January 2013 – 31 December 2014
Total Budget: US$ 800,000
Target Group: 35,697
Project Area: North Darfur (Kalimendo; Kebkabiya), Kassala (Khashm Ghirba; West Kassala; Reefi Kassala; Telkok) and Blue Nile (Bau; Qessan)
Partner: SOS Sahel; Kebkabiya, Women’s Development Association; Al Tawaf ,El Rahel Organisation; Nomadic Mobility Organisation
Funded by: Darfur Community Peace Stability Fund (multi-donor trust fund managed by UNDP)
Practical Action returned to work in Kebkabiya locality, North Darfur, for the first time in over fifteen years through this project with the main aim of strengthening rural livelihoods and improving local capacity to equitably manage access to natural resources, and addressing conflict through inclusive development planning.
The project was implemented by Practical Action in partnership with SOS Sahel, Kebkabiya Women’s Development Association, Al Tawaf El Rahel (a local pastoralist NGO), the Nomadic Mobility Organisation, and project networks established as part of this project.
To strengthen local capacity to resolve conflicts, Practical Action organized a range of training courses for nine key partner CBOs, which represent a total of 47 villages in the project area. These included:
- conflict analysis and early warning to help communities to build appropriate and effective community based mechanism to reduce and mitigate conflict;
- conflict resolution and peacebuilding; and
- conflict sensitive program design.
Then, six conflict-related training courses were attended by more than 150 peace committee and/or CBO members. The success of these training courses is evidenced by the fact that in 2014, the total number of cases identified by the CBOs was 71; of which 50 were solved.
A range of activities were also implemented to improve inter-community dialogue and cooperation, most importantly by carrying out Participatory Action Planning Development in the nine targeted communities in the project area. This ensured the full engagement of local communities in identifying, analysing and prioritising their livelihood and development needs and in so doing built consensus between different stakeholders of the importance of a fair, environmentally conscious and sustainable approach to the use and management of natural resources.
Later in the year, a local key market, which had been closed in the beginning of the conflict in 2003, was rehabilitated and reopened at a large public event after appreciated efforts from Arambo CBO. A Market Open Day, attended by over 2,000 people, was then held to celebrate the market’s restoration. This was used as a public occasion to improve relations between diverse users of the market, and it was estimated to benefit approximately 35697 individuals.
Other public events included peace conferences and drama shows – which were organised with the purpose of restoring trust between diverse ethnic/livelihood communities together and they were attended by more than 800 people. These events, and other complimentary efforts by the project partners and the newly formed Peace Committee, resulted in a historic agreement between pastoralists and displaced communities to allow the latter to return to their villages for the first time in more than a decade to cultivate their lands.
A wide range of activities were undertaken to improve the natural resource management in the project area. These activities included:
- the broadcasting of pasture seeds in two areas (Aramba and Bargo villages), covering a total of 450 hectare of pastureland;
- the demarcation of 40km of pastoralist migratory routes;
- the establishment of 3 community forests and 2 community seedling nurseries;
- and the construction of 27 water points took place, from which 21 Community Water committees were established to manage the various new water points constructed or rehabilitated during the year.
Activities were also undertaken to help strengthen the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists in the area. These activities included the provision of agricultural and livestock extension services with 20 village extension agents and the training of 35 para-veterinaries.
Additionally, the formation of revolving (improved) seed banks, benefited over 1,500 farmers (settled and IDPs). Moreover, the establishment of livestock re-stocking mechanisms and the running of vocational training in carpentry, masonry, social services and basic health care – benefited 145 unemployed youth, who were also equipped with necessary tools and equipment to enable them to pursue their new income generating activities in their villages.
The project succeeded in empowering women by prioritizing interventions that targeted women-headed households, while at the same time promoting activities among rival groups and between vulnerable groups (women, youth and IDPs) through joint livelihood initiatives.