C.A.R : Two families and the stream that separates them
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Published on 15 July 2014

Chantal and her son both live on the catholic church compound while Mariama and Yusuf (picture below) live in a Muslim enclave, just accros the stream. Photo: WFP/Donaig Le Du

The little town of Boda, west of Bangui, has seen a lot of violence over the past months. Things are calmer now, but two communities still live apart from each other, living by the stream that separates them. WFP assists both communities and supports the resumption of agricultural activities

Mariama and little Yusuf, Chantal and little Alexandre: two young mothers with 8 months old babies. They live a few hundred meters from each other, but none of them can cross the little river, barely a stream, that stands as a frontier between the two parts of town. Both of them live in tents;  Chantal in a camp on the catholic church compound and Mariama in the yard of a private house, in the Muslim enclave.

Both of them only wish for one thing: they do not want to be displaced anymore. They want a house of their own, but they might have to wait for some time.
A few months ago, Boda, less than 200 km outside Bangui, was a quiet little town, where farmers and cattle herders managed to live together.

 

 

 

 

 

Mariama and Yusuf (Picture WFP/Donaig Le Du)

It was also famous for being a city where diamonds were traded. Then the turmoil came: houses burnt and looted, thousands of cattle killed, and crops abandoned.

Most of the internally displaced persons in Boda have been staying in camps, on both sides of the stream, since January 2014.

The international forces, the Congolese MISCA contingent and the French Sangaris, have managed to establish a fragile status-quo.
With the Italian NGO COOPI as a partner, WFP has reached out to over 25.000 displaced persons in June. Furthermore, 15.000 have been enrolled in the seed protection program, with COOPI and FAO: FAO gives farmers enough seeds to start planting, and WFP provides food, in a joint effort to ensure that the families actually plant the seeds rather than eat them.