Last year, PHASE Worldwide launched a programme aimed at tackling causes of malnutrition in women and children living in Mugu, where the number of children with global acute malnutrition is extremely high. Funded by the department for international development (DFID), the project will last three years, during which time we aim to address the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition among 1,600 children. One year later, and the project has gained a lot of momentum.
We have been working with participating families to improve access to good quality, nutritious food all year round. PHASE Worldwide supports numerous livelihoods components within this programme. Farmers groups are established within each community where they hold regular meetings to exchange opinions, pass on ideas and support mutual development.PHASE Worldwide also offers technical and material support. Agricultural experts hold workshops within each community, focusing on a range of agricultural techniques. Some workshops will focus on livestock rearing whilst others focus on resilient agricultural practices that aim to increase productivity and strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather and other disasters.Material support is provided in the form of seeds, agricultural tools and materials to build polytunnels. Issuing these materials alongside technical support and training ensures that they are used efficiently for maximum effect. The infographic below summarises the livelihoods support offered over the first year of this three-year programme.
Tackling malnutrition in an effective way requires integrating health and livelihood programmes simultaneously. This is the only way to ensure that the problem is addressed sustainably. PHASE Worldwide has also been supporting several malnutrition-based health programmes within Mugu.
PHASE Worldwide supported auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) have been conducting door to door health visits and community health outreach programmes which work to identify cases of malnutrition and assess community health so that changes can be introduced within the livelihood programmes if necessary.We have also supported the formation of female health volunteers’ groups. Our health volunteers work alongside local ANMs to educate their communities on good nutrition and hygiene practices. Nutritional awareness is also being raised in schools, through PHASE Worldwide supported School Health Education Programmes.We have also supported several mothers’ committee meetings, which focus on educating mothers on family health and nutrition. Good nutrition is important to children’s health, with the first 1,000 days of life being crucial to healthy development, including days prior to birth. Working with mothers in this way helps develop good nutritional practices within the community.By working predominantly with female farmers, female health volunteers and mothers, we are also supporting female empowerment whilst working towards gender equality. The infographic below summarises the healthcare support offered over the first year of this three-year programme.
As the programme moves into its second year, it is important that we work with our communities to tackle any issues and develop solutions to outstanding problems. One such problem is that some project villages do not have a continuous supply of running water for irrigation. Farmers provided feedback at one of their regular community meetings and the issue was noted. After discussing the problem with the local technical support team, solutions were developed. Drip irrigation systems and a the construction of a still water pond are being discussed within the community, and the technical support team are currently working to identify natural springs and build low cost channels which will direct the water to where it needs to be.
For more information on this project, please click here to be taken to our project page. To find out more about Mugu, click here. For more development stories and updates, check out the rest of our blog.