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.

A solution for the long term

As well as delivering the immediate benefits of water for farmers, 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


How it works

Water harvesting cycle
Water harvesting cycle
Water harvesting cycle

How communities conserve water in Darfur

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.

Water conservation projects in Sudan

Wadi el Ku water management

This project is working with communities in the Wadi El Ku catchment in North Darfur to demonstrate how effective, inclusive natural resource management can improve livelihoods through enabling sustainable increases in agricultural productivity.

Read more

Water for three states

This project will provide secure access to safe water through renovation and construction of water points and groundwater collection infrastructure and will promote improvements in hygiene and sanitation practice in the region.

Read more
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