Tag : gezira-project
Tag : gezira-project
[Montréal, Québec, Canada -9°C] Below is South Sudan Info’s first post that was not written in-house, rather it was taken from another source. It is the first article I read that discusses so eloquently the water conundrum in Sudan.
Perspective: Sudan – Land of Water and Thirst; War and Peace
As we approach the January 2011 date for the referendum on the south, and as we see Darfur seemingly in an eerily, but uncertain, peaceful period, we need to look at the water situation in Sudan. Water will be a make or break issue for the peace process in Sudan and in deciding whether the Sudan will move forward in peace and prosperity or more poverty and war. It is a country that went through one of the most brutal civil wars in history. Millions were killed and displaced. Sudan is the country of Darfur, “The lost boys,” and lost generations. One of the driving forces behind the start of the last civil war between the south and the north was the Jonglei Canal. This is an idea that has been around for a very long time. It was to be a canal to bring the water through one of the largest wetlands in the world, The Sudd, more quickly to the north and to Egypt. But those earlier plans did not include much improvement in the lives of the people of the South and along the proposed canal. Dr. John Garang, one of the leaders of the southern rebels wrote his Ph.D. on the Jonglei Canal. The horrors of Darfur can be partly traced back to climate change, rain pattern changes, and water stress. Water is a very big issue in Sudan.
About 80 percent of the people in Sudan find their livelihoods in agriculture. Agriculture is about 40 percent of the country’s GDP and accounts for about 97 percent of the water use. Meanwhile 70 percent of agriculture in Sudan is rain fed. The rest of agriculture can find its water through small traditional spate irrigation and via khors, small mostly hand dug canals, or via huge irrigation projects, such as the Gezira project — which uses about 35 percent of Sudan’s water, and the many giant sugar irrigation schemes. Sudan has the largest area of irrigation in all of Sub-Saharan Africa, but even if this is poorly managed and maintained.
A close up of the fields in the Gezira Scheme, which is one of the largest