International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation has aimed to contribute to the regional development with the “Cash for Work” project performed in Zakho with the financial support by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), by providing employment to IDPs. First the assessment, then the implementation of the two-step project has been performed.
The assessment lasted for 10 days contained a survey with the questions asked to determine the number of IDPs and both IDPs' and host communities' needs. And the implementation consisted of the collection of the stones from the fields in Rizgari and Derkar subdistricts in Zakho.
The assessment of the Cash for Work project was performed by our field crew in Zakho in two separate groups in Bersive and Direbun areas. Our field teams aimed to make a feasibility report by interviewing 45-55 persons per day. They also interviewed with the officials from the Agriculture Directorate of Zakho.
Questions about the agricultural activities of host communities such as: the assets they might have for it -seeds, manure, animals, irrigation canals and flumes, seed planting machines, etc.- the needs that they are in and if they wish to work when they are given an opportunity are asked. Besides that by asking same questions to the IDPs fleeing terrorist attacks where they used to live, the factors relevant to the agricultural activities such as what kind of assets exist, what is needed, and if manpower to the purpose is ready, etc. are determined.
To sum up the results out of this assessment study, the area is quite suitable for agricultural activities yet the necessary equipment is mostly missing. The manpower exists and is willing to work in case the needs are met. But the area being mountainous had the fields covered with stones. It is indispensable to remove those stones from the fields and to bring out some areas convenient to plant seeds before starting any agricultural work. And that brings us to the implementation, the second step of the project.
The implementation of the cash for work project lasted also for 10 days in Bersive area of Derkar and in Direbun area of Rizgari subdistricts and being interrupted by the rains time to time, has aimed to provide the environment appropriate to begin agricultural works in coming spring season and, while doing this, to create the opportunity of earning their own money for the beneficiaries struggling to hold on to life with the supports from the international charities. In the meantime, we must remember that one of the most important outcomes of this project is that 90 women among 400 beneficiaries have worked for the very first time in their lives to make money.
Within the scope of the Cash for Work project, 300 IDPs from AFAD and UN camps in Bersive and 100 IDPs from a village named Beshabur in Direbun have gone to the fields in nearby areas to remove the stones during ten days with five hours working per day. Especially the field owners from Beshabur village appropriated our project and disposed their tractors in our service to carry the collected stones outside the fields.
To talk about discrepancies that we came across with while performing the project implementation; the rains that fell from time to time have interrupted the works for two days in Bersive area. The owners of the fields that we worked on did not neither show an interest in the project nor help with the transportation of the removed stones. Besides all these, a bunch of workers did not get along with the supervisors assigned to watch them and quitted on 20th of January when the work just started. So the following day, the works have been suspended for a day in order to make the lists all over again.
Site supervisor and agriculture engineer verified the work done and validate the attendance of labors and signed off for payment process and end of the implementation of the Project as it was aimed each beneficiary was paid 200 USD against to 10 days working, in total 400 IDP beneficiaries were paid 80.000 USD. FAO Erbil Office made cross checks through their resources to verify the amount paid to beneficiaries and successfully project closure was received by IBC.