Fishing kit distributions in South Sudan boost food security for Bol Deng and his family

Fishing kit distributions in South Sudan boost food security for Bol Deng and his family

03/06/2014

In Warrap State, South Sudan, fishing is a family activity for Bol Deng and his three children. Bol learned how to fish from his grandfather and today he boasts that even his young daughter is a skilled fisherwoman. After the recent outbreak of violence and ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan that left many fisherfolk with no means to capture fish, Bol’s family received an emergency fishing kit from FAO in March 2014.

Bol Deng’s family is one of 214,000 households benefiting from FAO’s ongoing distributions of emergency livelihood kits in South Sudan. In addition to fishing kits, FAO is distributing emergency crop, livestock and vegetable kits to the vulnerable-but still viable- households struggling to keep agriculture going for themselves and their communities in crisis-affected areas. Each fishing kit provides the capacity to feed 25 families each day, which will in turn boost fish production and secure food security and improved levels of nutrition.

“There is a very high demand for the fishing kits,” said Bol who added that the twine, hooks, and nets included in FAO’s emergency fishing kit greatly increases his fishing capacity and enables his family to catch nearly one hundred fish a day. Fish is a key source of protein in the local diet. Not only is Bol able to feed his family, he also has a surplus of fish to sell at the local market. With this income, he is paying for his children’s school fees, including his daughter.

Fish are caught in rivers and swamps throughout most months of the year. They are critical sources of food to augment crop cultivation. This is important in Warrap State because of risks to crops due to insecurity, droughts or floods. Atem Madut, a local fisher in Warrap State, reported there are over 30 different types of fish in the Jur river near his home where he begins fishing every day at sunrise.

Prior to receiving FAO support, Atem waded in the river using a spear and traditional fishing tools to catch fish. Atem said, “The FAO kits are very helpful, better than local tools. I am doing better than those who did not receive kits.”

For Atem, the benefits of the fishing kit are two-fold; not only does he catch more fish faster, but he now also has more time to tend to his farm where he grows crops. The fishing kits are just one type of livelihood kit that FAO is distributing in response to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. FAO is appealing for an additional 66 million USD in order to support a total of 550,000 households in 2014 and the first months of 2015.