Author: Osman Daitak         Impact: 1450 families           Photos: Mamduh Abdalla

The traditional livelihood strategy of the ingenious community of Red Sea State , Sudan, combining livestock rearing and agriculture, has been undermined by the impact of drought and conflict, and is no longer adequate to ensure household food security. The massive loss of assets people experienced as a result of the famines during the 1980s and 1990s made people not only dependent on NGOs, but also vulnerable to future disasters.

Reduction in animal holdings, as animals have been sold to pay for food, means that households are less able to cope with the impact of drought ...

Poverty in the Red Sea State has increased the vulnerability to food insecurity of a substantial portion of the population, and people are eking out their living under difficult and unstable conditions ... This condition has in turn resulted in the adoption of alternative strategies, represented by the increasing reliance of households on other income sources, particularly labor migration and selling fire wood and charcoal. However, these alternatives cannot be sustained in the long run: job opportunities are shrinking in Port Sudan due to the mechanization of the port, while firewood cutting and charcoal making cannot be sustained without serious environmental impacts.

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Bearing in mind this situation SOS Sahel Sudan supports local communities to adopt resilient copying strategy through encouraging them to invest in unexploited fisheries resources in Sudanese coast line which stretches for 750 Kilometres, where the fishery is mostly artisanal and considered underdeveloped indicating a clear potential for developing the existing artisanal fisheries.

With support of the European Union under ECOFISH programme, SOS Sahel Sudan is supporting artisanal fishermen to utilize marine resources, through already designed packages by experts for increasing production and income of the fishermen.

The project will apply a modality which to subsidize fishermen's contributions for the supply of production inputs and technologies through private-sector suppliers, using a subsidized-voucher system, allowing fishermen to purchase necessary materials in advance of profits.

Hamad Mohammed Hamad Senior fisherman from Mohammed Gol village says “before ECOFISH project we use to fish in shallow water for local consumption and food security but now with support of the project we would be able to catch in deep water, definitely our production and income will increase”. Hamad is expecting from ECOFISH Programme a great impact on fishermen in terms of offering adequate inputs and technologies that will change fishing business in area for better future and encourage more young people to join fishing business as well.

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