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Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance-SONGO

RDRS Bangladesh is implementing the Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance - SONGO project in Gaibandha and Kurigram districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with Cordaid, funded by European Union (EU). The women of reproductive age, men, adolescents, and under-5 children are the main programme participants of this project. The project will benefit a total number of 112,000 households, 95,000 women at reproductive age, 90,000 adult men, 80,000 adolescents, and 55,000 under-5 children.

The SONGO project is designed in line with SDG - 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 17 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption, Climate Action, and Partnerships for the Goals).

Rangpur Division has the highest incidence of poverty in the country and the Brahmaputra river embankment population even has the highest extreme poverty figures, and scores very poor on all indicators related to maternal and child health as well as other livelihood aspects. The SONGO project area is located in 18 embankment areas in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The embankment areas are regularly flooded, taking lives and destroying crops and assets. Climate change increases disaster-proneness. Considering this socio-economic and geographic context, RDRS has initiated the SONGO project in this area.

The goal of the project is to improve maternal and child nutrition. The objectives of the project are:

1. Strengthen local nutrition governance and decision-making mechanisms;

2. Improve maternal and child health and nutrition practices;

3. Improve household WASH Practices;

4. Improve household access to nutritious food.

The major activities of SONGO projects are the formation and functioning Upazila Nutrition Coordination Committee and District Nutrition Coordination Committee; Federations; develop nutrition action plan for the committees; installation of tube wells and latrines for safe water and sanitation at household and community level; enhancing community clinic service; capacity building of youth in trades for employment; support to menstrual hygiene manage etc.

SONGO project is contributing to strengthening local nutrition governance mechanism which brings changes to adapt the improved nutritional practices by the community people, enhanced accessibility and affordability of base of pyramid (BoP) people on health, nutrition, WASH and Agricultural services. The project enables people to improve homestead food production by adapting climate-smart Agricultural (CSA) technologies and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through market intermediaries and private sector engagement.