WFP Regional Director Denise Brown talks with beneficiaries in the East region of Burkina Faso. WFP/Celestine Ouedraogo
During her mission to Burkina Faso from 26 to 29 June 2013, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa, Denise Brown, visited a lowland rehabilitation project supported by WFP in Tibga, in the east of Burkina Faso.
Denise Brown was accompanied by Angelline Rudakubana, WFP Country Director in Burkina Faso, Victoria Monchuk from World Bank Burkina Faso and WFP staff. The Regional Director was greeted by regional, provincial and local authorities, led by the Colonel Major Jean Bertin Somda, Governor of the East region. The purpose of this visit was to learn about WFP’s Cash and Food for Assets activity and to talk with beneficiaries. This lowland rehabilitation project promotes rice production by the population of Tibga, Modré and Liguid-Tinga villages It has 230 plots totaling 30 hectares and the activities are carried out by the beneficiaries with the technical support from the East region’s Direction of Agriculture and Food Security. After sensitization the traditional landowners agreed to allow those who wanted to work their land to do so. These land allocations were certified by traditional landowners, local authorities and beneficiaries. As a result, 197 beneficiaries, made up of 66 men and 131 women are receiving WFP assistance through cash for assets activities, in exchange for their participation in field work. The participants will receive two payments, a total of US$ 22,000 (F CFA 11,052,000) in cash, 3.5 metric tons of food and some small farm equipment worth US$ 2,200 (F CFA 1,105,200). In his welcome speech, the Deputy Mayor of Tibga, Lazare Ouoba, thanked the WFP Regional Director, noting that it was encouraging for the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries also spoke about the activity and the visit. "We are pleased to receive this assistance and comforted by this visit. Through this project, each of us has our own plot, which was not the case before. We will work tirelessly and at the end of WFP’s assistance, we will continue to produce rice. We will sell a part of our produce, especially when prices are higher” said Tibga women beneficiaries. But the situation in the villages remains difficult. “There are households who are borrowing food or money from neighbors to pay at the end of the crop year. There are also vulnerable people who do not have the strength to work, so we share the assistance received from WFP with them. We will be more comfortable if we could have some support to carry out income-generating activities such as gardening during the dry season," said the women This was of interest to the World Bank representative, who said her organization wanted to support social safety net activities. "I urge local authorities and WFP Burkina Faso to work with the village communities to identify the vulnerable people who cannot work to seek the possibility of a parallel unconditional support for them," said Ms Brown She ended her speech by encouraging the women beneficiaries to continue their good work.
Celestine Ouedraogo is the Programme Assistant for Basic Education activities in Burkina Faso, as well as the Public Information focal point and the Walk the World focal point. Before joining WFP in 1998, Celestine worked for CEAO (West African Economic Organisation, currently UEMOA) and UNHCR.