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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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PBF intervention brings peace to Foni Bondali herding communities

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In the heart of Foni Bondali, the challenges faced by herding communities like Bisari Bajonki, are significant. Herders trek long distances for water and grazing lands. Cattle owners have endured arduous journeys to neighboring communities like Bulenghar or Kanwali, as well as venturing into the Senegalese region of Casamance just to meet their cattle’s basic needs.

During these treks, the cattle often stray into local farms, sparking tensions between the agrarian community and the ranchers as well as the risk of cattle theft. This clash of interests may add to longstanding conflict drivers in the area. The United Nations Peace Building Fund (PBF) implemented by FAO is an intervention that brings unity.

Janga Sanneh, a farmer, whose farmlands were often affected by transhumance activity, expressed relief, saying, “We used to dread the sight of cattle straying into our fields, but now, with the designated stock routes and drinking points, our worries have vanished.”

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Similarly, herders are rejoicing at the convenience brought by the project. Ousman Bah a herder shared, “Gone are the days of exhausting journeys in search of water. Now, we can easily access the drinking points erected in Bisari Bajonki, saving time and ensuring the well-being of our livestock.”

Foni Bondali has two watering points, with the second being 0.992km away. The importance of the second point is that cattle that would have entered Bisari in search of water no longer do thus mitigating intercommunal conflicts.

The project’s impact not only touched the lives of herders and farmers. With the equipped borehole, women in the community have seized the opportunity to venture into small-scale farming for horticulture. One woman highlighted the benefits, stating, “This Community Vegetable Garden not only provides us with fresh vegetables for our households but also serves as a source of income, food security, nutrition, empowering us economically.”

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With these interventions in place, the once-divided communities are now united. Cattle owners can rest assured knowing their livestock’s needs are met, while farmers tend to their fields without fear of intrusion. The intervention has alleviated both the immediate challenges and fostered solidarity and cooperation among community members.

This intervention in Bisari Bajonki is just one of the many initiatives undertaken by the Peace Building Fund project across the country. Elsewhere, it is supporting communities in protecting their forests while also providing livelihood alternatives. Through these multifaceted efforts, the project aims to address various challenges faced by communities, promoting sustainability, harmony, and economic empowerment nationwide.

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