SONGO Continues Support to Beneficiaries Amid COVID-19
Food and nutrition security has always been a concern for the marginalised communities in Northern Bangladesh. The European Union (EU) funded Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project, implemented by ICCO Cooperation and RDRS Bangladesh, works to improve local accessibility to nutritious foods and hygiene measures in Gaibandha and Kurigram districts.
To ensure that the producers and poor are resilient to food crises in the region and have a livelihood opportunity for further income generation, SONGO has distributed 7 types of vegetable seeds among 19,050 households. Those households also received vegetable cultivation training. Regular process of distribution could not be followed due to the prevailing crisis of coronavirus spread. Respecting social distancing measures at this crisis, frontline workers from the project carried out a door to door distribution of seeds.
photo: Door to door seed distribution
Awareness raising on health, nutrition and hygiene
Besides, the project also aims to reach out to the local community to raise awareness on different causes and issues related to health, nutrition, and hygiene.
On regular days, SONGO provides door to door services and organizes courtyard sessions and meetings to conduct these awareness activities, such as demonstrations on washing hands With the ongoing pandemic situation, SONGO project has partnered with two local community radio stations to continue their work on dissemination of health and nutrition related messages. Alongside regular messages, the program also focused on raising awareness related to COVID-19.
Photo: demonstration washing hands
Photo: distribution of hygiene materials
Hardship and Hope
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the communities in these rural areas are facing unexpected hardship, with difficult access to markets, agricultural commodities becoming increasingly unavailable, impacting their source of incomes and local food security. SONGO harbors the hope that these inputs and services will support the local food systems, and help maintain proper safety and hygiene especially at such a vulnerable time.