Problem: Almost 80% of Sudan is dry and agriculture depends basically on rainfall, a situation that creates challenges with regard to food security. Recurrent droughts often cause limited productivity in most areas particularly east Sudan where most of the population is threatened by hunger. In some areas the rainfall is within 120 – 150 mm/annum that does not support agriculture. Cultivated lands complete the season and produce a negligible amount of grains. The agricultural fields with crops that produced almost nothing are left for livestock as residues with the disappointment of poor farmers. The land is observed as in desert conditions as figure (1) indicates. The greenfield is the cultivated area which is always a failure.
Solution: In 2008 a group of field development experts in collaboration with the University of Khartoum Consultancy Corporation (UKCC) headed by engineer Adil Khidir planned a dam to be constructed across the watercourse that traverses the field area. The watercourse brings water during the rainy season from the eastern high lands every three weeks and the water disappears in three days.
Goals and Objectives: The objective of the dam is to hold the water for longer period and spreads on both sides of the watercourse.
Implementation: The project was developed in east Sudan, launched in 2009 and maintained to present.
The dam was built as a joint work involving the UKCC, an NGO and the community of farmers and village people. It was only 60 cm high with a one Km arm extending on both sides. The water spreading system spreads the water over 1600 hectares, increases the moisture level in the soil and provides for agricultural success.
The solution achieved food security represented in agriculture, range, livestock and forest products. The community of farmers is managing the project with the assistance of extortionists and community leaders. People produce grains, milk, meat, forest crops and water.
The 1600 hectares were divided among 400 families (4 Ha each) who continued to cultivate the land from 2009 up to the present. Each family produced almost 12 sacks of grains/Ha i.e 40 – 50 sacks per the 4 hectares (see figure 2).
Figure 1. Agriculture fields under 120 – 150 mm/annum
Figure 2. Agriculture fields under crops after the dam construction
Figure 3. Water pools, forests, range and livestock
Achievements: The farmers have their problem of unsecured food being completely solved. Food is secured. The farmers created an artificial water pool at the terminal of the arms where the water collects for livestock watering. Forests and range developed.
The dam construction across the watercourse and its success in achieving food security and natural resources development encouraged the IGAD with its partner the GIZ to construct another dam across another watercourse in the area to secure food.
Partners: UKCC, Plan Sudan, local communities, IGAD, GIZ
UKCC (Eng. nAdil Khider), Plan Sudan, Coordinator Elnour Abdalla Elsiddig, GIZ
Phone:+249 9 114 39339