|Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Al-Malam, with 85% of the population engaged in rain-fed agriculture. Al-Malam is located in the dry, savannah area, with very little water. Farmers depend on water from valleys, which are subject to seasonal flooding, that in turn cause soil erosion. Although Al-Malam has ample groundwater, seasonal water from valleys is not exploited fully due to poor infrastructure. This problem can be solved by implementing appropriate machinery and by training farmers how to use it in summer and winter. The result will be economic stability for the population. Dams are needed to prevent floodwaters from affecting agricultural fields. In addition, water from the valleys must be transported to the fields.
The area is agricultural and most of the populations are framers or traders of farms goods and livestock. To boost the economy, farmers also plant durra and millet to eat. The region often suffers from a shortage of food due to poor agricultural practices (e.g., repeated cultivation of the same crop) which causes soil to lose its fertility. Also, the clay soil used for the cultivation of cash crops is inadequate due to year-to-year changes in runoff from the valleys
The program is helping 340 farmers as a pilot program, and this is part of a grand plan to irrigate more than 6000 acres and provide microfinance loans.
|What we want to do
The solution to the problem of small farmers in the region lies in the use of three types of agricultural technologies:
- Irrigation by submersible pumps: The technique widely used throughout Darfur which provides water from groundwater sources. Pumps have been contributed by foreign organizations for deployment in rural areas. In addition, to benefit cultivation of vegetables in both the winter and summer, implementing submersible pumps will allow Al-Malam to have adequate food year-round.
- Irrigation water from the valleys: A simple and inexpensive technique is to use machinery powered by fuel, such as a Lester pumps and pipes, to bring water from the valleys during the rainy season. Expand growing season by dividing the land into two parts – one for growing in the fall and one for growing in the winter.
- Reservoirs: Reservoirs have been used to capture and store drinking water in parts of the Darfur region, such as in the eastern region of Al-Malam-Omdasho. However, the reservoirs have been damaged or have fallen into disrepair. Because fixing the reservoirs requires a large investment, work has not been completed. In addition to the necessary repairs, pumps are needed to move water from the reservoirs to the people and livestock who need it.
The project is divided into two parts:
- Section I: farmers who own land adjacent to or near the valleys may use Lester pumps and pipes for water distribution. One Lester pump is required to support one farm.
- Section II: farmers who are not located near the valleys should utilize submersible pumps.