In North Darfur in Sudan, villages are struggling to survive.

Water sources are scarce, and trees are being chopped down for shelter and firewood. As the forests disappear, so do the rains.

Drought and dwindling resources are stretching farmers like Salin and Adam to their limits.

But water harvesting can offer a future.

North Darfur used to support rich pasture and forest. But displaced people fleeing conflict had no choice but to cut down trees for shelter and firewood. Now there’s nothing to stop the advancing desert.

Life is becoming impossible. Due to the lack of water, many people can’t grow enough to eat and survive on a single meal a day.

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1.75 million people in North Darfur rely on rural agriculture to survive

How can we turn dried out land into hope for the future?

With a gift from you, farmers like Salin and Adam could build or restore simple earth dams and underground reservoirs (known as hafirs), to capture rainfall.

Then, using drip irrigation, alongside a programme of land terracing, they’ll be able to take water to their fields to grow crops, which will feed them and their families.

The planting of mixed crops will provide farmers and their families with food and a vital source of income.

A solution for the long term

As well as delivering the immediate benefits of water for farmers like Salin and Adam, your gift will continue to work long into the future.

Excess crops can be sold in the local markets to earn a much needed income – which in turn will enable more children to receive an education.

The incredible benefits of water harvesting enable people to lift themselves out of poverty – for good.

How can you help?

Please help the farmers of North Darfur bring new life to one of the world’s most troubled areas

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We can kick-start the cycle again

Water harvesting cycle
Water harvesting cycle
Water harvesting cycle

The roots of recovery will spread far and wide

Our water harvesting projects in North Darfur will reach further than one village.

We plan to establish 12 water harvesting projects across the whole of North Darfur. Each project will improve access to water transforming the lives of 35,000 women, men and children;  that’s 420,000 lives in total. How this will be done:

Installation and rehabilitation of earth dams and hafirs (underground reservoirs) – to capture the rainfall

Earth dams range in length from 50m up to 1000m. In order to avoid flooding behind the dam, they are built with high sides to make the most of the brief rainy season. Channels are linked to the fields, bringing life-changing water straight to the crops.

Hafir is the local name for a water reservoir. The hafir is a hole in the ground which captures, and stores, rainwater to last through the year.

Construction of terraces – to avoid losing valuable water

Terraces are easy to construct and low-cost. Instead of letting water flow straight down a hillside, steps are cut into the land to slow the water and allow it to collect on each section.

Water and nutrient-filled soil would otherwise be washed away, but instead it is collected between the raised earth strips, allowing plants to grow longer and healthier.

Installation of drip irrigation systems – to take water to the fields

Drip irrigation allows the water collected in dams and hafirs to be transported to the crops and animals. Water storage units are suspended one metre above the ground, and attached to long hoses that cover the whole field.

Gravity slowly pulls water through the hose, and drips it through small holes straight onto the roots of the plant. Up to 200 plants can be irrigated using just one drip system.

Planting of community forests – to start a process of reforestation and stop ‘sand creep’

In an area like North Darfur, where the average annual rainfall is just 600mm, the land is rapidly turning into sand. Crops cannot survive and people go hungry.

However, community forests planted by farmers bind soil together and help preserve the water cycle by returning water vapour back into the atmosphere.

Please help the farmers of North Darfur bring new life to one of the world’s most troubled areas

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Water harvesting is a powerful solution that will transform lives now, and for generations to come.

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