In Angola against drought

Eni is implementing the Integrated Social Project, since 2017, in the Southern provinces of Huíla and Namibe, both affected by the drought. The project benefits four communities of the municipality of Gambos, in the Huíla region, and five communities of the municipality of Bibala, in the Namibe region with the total number of beneficiaries being around 60,000 people. The Integrated Social Project has four main components, namely access to energy, access to water, health awareness and agriculture. The water systems are providing drinkable water to the communities and to the animals, which is especially relevant since cattle is very important for these communities of shepherds who used to walk long distances in order to find water.

Water is also enabling the agricultural activities: rural women can now cultivate crops in model fields. Presently, 700 farmers are inserted in the Integrated Social Project’s farmer clubs and 26 model fields have been created, whose production serves for consumption and the surplus is sold. With training activities, women are now aware of new crops that can be cultivated and consumed and that thus can improve the diversity and quality of the food chain, like for example cucumber, okra, eggplant and carrots, which were planted for the first time ever. Training topics also include the preparation of land for nurseries, mulching, aeration, and the importance of using manure as a fertilizer and the pruning plants.

Interview about the agro pastoral field schools (“ECAPs”), which are part of the integrated social project against drought

Maria Florida Joaquim, 41, is a resident of the Kapangombe community, in the Bibala municipality, here she discusses with Miguel Jose Maria, from ADPP, the NGO that is implementing the project, about how ECAPS changed her life.

Miguel: What has changed in your life after learning from the ECAPs? 

Maria : At first I didn’t have much knowledge on Agriculture, apart from cultivating millet and sorghum. I learnt to produce and eat vegetables like cabbage, kale, tomatoes, onions, eggplant, carrots, groundnuts and cucumbers, and crops like maize. During the sessions we learnt how to make nurseries, make beds, organic pesticides, mulching and weeding. The diet of my family also improved due to the different types of vegetables that we have been able to produce. Moreover, l like the idea of learning and working together. Normally, I had never seen people of different tribes working together, but ADPP managed to unite the different tribes here, such as the Mucubal, Munguendelongo and the Mumuilas. We are working together as a team which to me is a good development in our community. I also came to know more areas like Bibala and Lubango, when I went there to sell some of our surplus products.

Miguel: Do you think it’s important to continue with ECAPs in Bibala?

Maria: I think it’s very important to continue with the ECAPs model schools because they are changing the lives of many people. During this year of drought, us as ECAPs were managing to have food from the garden. If we produce more vegetables, we’ll be able to get a meal and also trade, and that means that hunger will not affect us.