A sustainable food supply
In the Cabo Delgado province, 51.4% of children aged between 6 and 59 months old suffer from chronic malnutrition, the highest rate in the country (the national average is 43%). Therefore, by the time they are 5, half of children are not at the level of physical and cognitive growth that they should be. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, if over 40% of the population has not reached recommended development levels, a serious public health problem exists.
The situation in Ibo District
The information available on child malnutrition in the Ibo District is very concerning, and suggests that the district has received very little attention from institutions.
Every year, the IBO Foundation carries out an analysis of the Child Nutritional Levels in the Ibo district, covering the island of Matemo, the Quirimbas, and Ndegane on the mainland, as well as areas on the island such as Quirambo.
In 2018, this study was carried out on a total of 772 children under 5, a number representing approximately 75% of the total population in the age group, the majority being reached on a ‘house by house’ basis.
Analysis of the nutritional situation in Ibo
For the past six years, the IBO Foundation has been running the Ibo Nutritional Support Centre (CANI), an organisation that is committed to providing people with accurate nutritional information to guarantee a better quality of life.
The centre is particularly focused on infants and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, in order to fight against malnutrition and improve people’s hygiene and diets.
The centre is constructing a comprehensive project that, in the long term, will combat poor nutrition and improve socioeconomic conditions of the general population.
Nutritional support is given to children under 5 (priority is given to those under 2) and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. As well as nutritional advice, good hygiene habits are taught, as well as cookery lessons, so that people can prepare their own papas enriquecidas (nutritional porridge) at home.
The centre’s strategic importance in the district is recognised by authorities, with its name appearing in documents outlining future projects.
The centre offers performance indicators that monitor the activities in each of its programmes; their demonstration of the centre’s impact in Ibo in recent years justifies such a measure.
In the medium term, the initiative’s impact is of great value, shown by the gradual reduction in the number of babies in the district being born underweight.
This innovative programme is founded on long-term sustainability. For example, the centre does not hand out nutritional supplements, but has created 10 nutritious porridge recipes that can be prepared using ingredients available locally.
Water and Sanitation
A lack of access to clean water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene leads to high levels of poverty, vulnerability and insecurity. The direct impact of this on public health can be seen in infant mortality rates, with waterborne diseases being the main cause of this, as well as chronic malnutrition.
A lack of access to clean water has negative consequences on human development. Women and children are those forced to travel great distances in search of water, which is often unclean. Children stop attending school, whilst women must put domestic work, the cultivation of their lands, and the education of their children on hold.
Human waste deposited in the open air alongside water from domestic waste poses a risk to people’s health and the environment. Pollution seeps into the floor and enters bodies of water through rainfall, leaving both contaminated.
Consuming contaminated food and water results in serious gastrointestinal illnesses – such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea or hepatitis, to name a few – which affect millions of people every day. Those under the age of five are most likely to suffer serious complications relating to these illnesses.
Covering wells reduces stagnant water points, and avoids their contamination with dirty water, and so reduces people’s risk of contracting illness. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between clean water and an improvement in people’s hygiene, as well as a reduction in people suffering from disease. Therefore, efforts to reduce the spread of waterborne diseases should not only be centred on the construction and renovation of infrastructure, but also focus on community education and raising awareness of the correct use of such infrastructures and their maintenance.
The work of the organisation in this area is focused on the following activities: creating water storage facilities, renovation and maintenance work on existing wells, running awareness campaigns, and creating local committees that focus on water management.
The IBO Foundation has repaired over 70 wells on the island. Whilst carrying out this work, the Foundation has been increasing local awareness and reinforcing people’s capacities to combat the problem. We aim to directly involve the community throughout the project.
Supporting vulnerable people
Our aim is to ensure that vulnerable people have dignified living conditions. Our actions are focused on supporting the elderly and providing the means to cover basic medical needs.
With the help of the Barraquer Foundation, the IBO Foundation regularly carries out cataract operations and delivers sunglasses to locals.