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UNMISS peacekeepers from Bangladesh distribute seeds to Wau community

In Wau, UNMISS peacekeepers from Bangladesh hand over seeds to communities plus train them on scientific cultivation techniques to help boost food security. Photo By Jimmy Ludanga/UNMISS

WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL – In South Sudan, women tend to be the ones making sure that there is food on the table for the family. That task, difficult at the best of times, has been made harder by uncooperative weather patterns, causing below-par harvests.

Aware of this critical situation, peacekeepers from Bangladesh serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently provided women in Baryar B’ in Wau municipality not only with lots of seeds and with the technical knowledge needed to make them grow and provide food.

“As we are coming to the beginning of the planting season, we are very happy to receive this assistance from UNMISS peacekeepers,” said Sabirino Lino, one of the 20 women who benefited from this initiative by Bangladeshi Blue Helmets.

A significant number of seeds of fast-growing, high-yielding, and nutritious vegetables like okra, radish, pumpkin, brinjal, ash gourd, maize, cucumber, papaya, tomatoes, basil, snake gourd, watermelon,, spinach, as well as pesticide and tools were handed over to the women.

“We heard about the shortage of food and lack of seeds from community members, so we decided to reach out to a group of women here and lend a helping hand,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Golam, a Civil Military Coordination Officer with the Bangladeshi battalion.

Skills on pest and disease control were also shared with the farmers, as were other tips and tricks on how to create optimal conditions for the new crops.

“We have had a wonderful time with the team from Bangladesh,” affirms Ms. Lino’s fellow farmer Abuk Night Akueer. “It is good to interact with other women as they put us at ease, making it easier to ask questions. I will be closely following the guidelines we have received,” she added, smiling broadly as much-needed rain started to fall from the sky.

The Bangladeshi initiative is in line with the UN Peacekeeping mission’s ongoing efforts to protect civilians, a concept not limited to physical protection but one that also includes building confidence by assisting in creating sustainable livelihoods.

Representing the State ministry of Agriculture, Environment, and Forestry during the hand over, Morris Akol Segin, called for continued support for communities from UNMISS.