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Reference : V-P-CD-E-02847
Date : 24/08/2023
Caption : North Kivu, Luofu. This woman works in a fish farm implemented by the ICRC. This fish farming project is part of an agricultural rehabilitation programme launched in the area, affected by armed conflicts.
Photographer : NICHOLAS, Christopher
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Due to the fighting between armed groups in Nord Kivu, many people have not been able to farm the land of the surrounding hills. Others have been displaced and forced to leave their villages, plots of land, tools, and means to farm at all, and have arrived in the village of Lofou and other neighbouring villages with nothing at all. Limited land, on top of a disease that affected crops means they struggled to grow enough food to feed their families, or to generate an income. The ICRC in Nord Kivu has been helping people by providing seeds for fast yielding crops such as corn and beans, and disease resistant varieties of seeds for longer term, more valuable crops like cassava, that are used to produce the daily staple fufu. They have also set up an innovative fish farm project. They have helped the community set up an association that now manages a fish farm that provides beneficiaries 200 small fish and some tools, that they use to set up their own smaller fish farms. Once the fish grow they reproduce, thus yielding more fish that can be eaten or sold in order to create an income. There are 250 households benefiting from the scheme, which represents 1,500 people, as well as 30 additional people who are part of the association.

Esther, aged 34, is a member of the association. This means she works at the reservoir where the fish are bred and sourced from and is also a beneficiary. Esther had to flee her village after it was attacked. She fled with her three children to the forest where they survived on the flour they took with them. Her brother was killed trying to protect them. After four days in the forest with nothing to eat, they were forced to come down to the village of Lofou in Northern Kivu. They were taken in by her uncle. At first, she worked other people's land to make some money to feed her children. Then she became a beneficiary of the ICRC fish program, and part of the association. She learned skills to look after fish, a small grant for equipment and 200 small fish which she transferred to a small pond near her house. The fish grew big enough to reproduce and to be eaten and sold. From the profits she made, she bought herself a sewing machine and set up a small atelier making dresses and womenswear. She has gone on to teach and inspire others to sew.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 2048x1365
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour