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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the people of the villages bordering the Upemba National Park are living in disastrous conditions: epidemics such as Ebola and Covid, armed conflicts that have lasted for over a decade, decay and insufficient roads and communication routes combined with the deterioration over time of the few agricultural resources available, have destroyed the fragile local socio-economic structure.
As a result of this general instability, food production and small businesses have been severely affected, causing large numbers of internally displaced persons and returnees who are unable to resume their livelihoods. Since the end of March 2020, the floods have affected the entire south-eastern area of the DRC, significantly undermining crop yields and the availability of food in the villages.
In order to survive, rural communities sometimes engage in illegal activities that damage the environment of the Upemba National Park, such as poaching, illegal fishing, gathering wild plants and vegetables and logging.
To reduce the populations’ vulnerability, there is a need to support them in the resumption of agricultural and productive activities, so that families no longer have to depend on exploiting the neighbouring Park and are able to have a job that produces income, saving their lives.
COOPI Suisse's project in the province of Haut Katanga, Mitwaba, is designed to meet these needs, including:
The direct beneficiaries include 190 people (of which at least 85 are women) who will receive from the project the endowment to start productive activities.
Indirect beneficiaries are 1.140 individuals (of which at least 581 are women), members of the beneficiary families.
The local partners are COOPI DRC and ICCN - Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature.
The length of the project is from January 2021 to December 2021.