Drought wrecks farming in North Darfur

Farmers predict a famine next summer if situation persists

Farmers predict a famine next summer if situation persistsThere could be a complete failure during this farming season due to drought and fitful rainfall, farmers from North Darfur told Radio Dabanga on Friday.

Planting hasn’t begun in 13 out of 18 provinces including Almalha, Kutum, Dar es Salaam, Tarwila and Kabkabiya. Even the valleys which normally have plenty of water have gone dry making farming impossible.

Cultivation of cash crops in the winter is under threat as there is no water in the valleys of Abouhamrah, Shakra and Kutum and Sulena. Another problem is that many water reservoirs, namely Golo, Mellit, Orshy, Abulihah and Basu are empty. The majority of the population, as well as cattle, depends on these reservoirs for drinking water in the summer.

Farmers predicted that if the situation persists citizens could face famine next summer, like the ongoing crisis in Somalia. They told Radio Dabanga that they demanded the authorities to face up to the severe water crisis and prepare for food and water shortages.

Howa Suleiman, Minister of Agriculture in North Darfur, spoke to Radio Dabanga last week and admitted that the cropping season had failed, that farming had only started in southern and north-eastern parts of Alleitjarnaby, Altueisha and and Kalimandu. She said that she gave instructions to farmers to work in the valleys of Taiah, Shangil, Tobayi, Abouhamrah, Dar es Salaam and Shakra instead.