On Wednesday we visited the community of Rofinka. This is a proposed site for a fish farm, and Caritas/CAFOD is already supplying livelihood assistance. For 4 years, there has been seed rice, groundnut, assorted vegetables, cassava and maize distributed in the community as well as tools and watering cans for the dry season.
The town head, Pa Musa Konteh explained how this assistance has helped the community and has also allowed them to help four surrounding communities to benefit from the increased food production. They keep some seeds to use the next season so the project is sustainable. There are approximately 720 people, including children, in the community of Rofinka, and counting the four surrounding communities some 1800 people are benefiting from the project.
The community is surrounded by agriculture, with some 8-10 acres of cassava alone. Sales pay fees and medical bills so the more they can plant and harvest the better the community’s standard of living. Produce is sold in Makeni, some 7 miles away, with women carrying the produce on their heads.
The local teacher, Amadu Kamora, thanked Caritas/CAFOD for coming to visit the community. “During, before and after the war Caritas has been there. There is prosperity in the community and this has helped the children to have food to eat”.
After a trip to see the cassava fields and the proposed site for the fish farm, the group were presented with two chickens. It is traditional to be offered a meal but as we could not stay they gave us the chickens instead.
Denise, representing CAFOD, was made “mother” of the community and called Mama D. This means we are welcome always. This is a great honour and one we will treasure!
So, if you are ever passing through Rofinka there is somewhere you can call home!
Late afternoon there was a rain storm. This was wonderful relief for us as it cleared the air and made the temperature cooler. However, our happiness is tempered by the fact that it should not be raining in March – the middle of the dry season – and this can cause devastation for the farmers and their crops. This is a sign of the changing climate and another risk to add to the already fragile existence of many.