Integrated development Huila and Namibe
10,000 families in the municipalities of Bibala in Namibe Province and Gambos in Huila Province are benefitting from this ENI-funded project, which aims for a truly integrated project, combing health, agriculture, education and access to energy and water. The project recognizes the importance of solar energy and boreholes as part of community development where necessities such as electricity and water are lacking. A program that combines agricultural development and community health will always be limited by the lack of power for lighting and for maintaining medicines at appropriate temperatures, and by the lack of safe drinking water or the shortage of water on the whole for hygiene, crop irrigation and livestock.
Eight boreholes will provide safe and locally available water, while the same number of solar energy systems will furnish power for water pumps, as well as for lighting and power at schools, clinics and homes. Water and sanitation groups, established in the participating villages, have been trained to take responsibility for the maintenance of the water and energy systems.
Community health is being tackled by recruiting and training 48 Community Agents in each municipality, the Agents being responsible for registering families, giving lessons in disease prevention, and monitoring progress in terms of improvements in health and hygiene. A school component reinforces the messages disseminated by the Community Agents. Pupils at 20 schools attend lessons given by 40 teachers specially trained to explain about malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB and basic sanitation. The children are not only receptive but they make excellent ambassadors for change, spreading what they learn in the classroom to their families and to the community as a whole. Two school patrols at each of the participating schools go even further, and organize activities such as basic water and sanitation initiatives, malaria awareness campaigns on World Malaria Day or cleaning actions at the school itself, at markets and around homes.
In addition to the 20 schools involved, the project collaborates closely with local clinics and with the relevant authorities at local, municipal and provincial level.
The final component, agricultural development, is intended to help achieve food security. 16 Farmer Field Schools have been established, with 400 members registered. The five-member committees received training, demonstration fields were created, fenced and prepared for planting, and seeds were sown in the middle of the year. In addition to learning new techniques and modern methods, the farmers are introduced to the idea of crop diversification, which leads to greater variety in the diet plus the opportunity of earning money through the sale of surplus.