Over 2.2 Million people in South Sudan are food insecure - The UN declared an official famine in February 2017. South Sudan, as the world’s youngest country, lacks the financial and water infrastructure to support sustainable agricultural practices. The 80% of the population that depends on subsistence agriculture and livestock rearing relies entirely on rainwater. For over half of each year, the country faces extreme dry conditions. Climate change, bringing droughts, floods, and erratic rainfall, has worsened the situation and increased competition for scarce resources. Political conflict and inter-communal conflicts over limited water and pasture sources have also deepened the food insecurity and hunger level in South Sudan.
According to OXFAM, most violent conflicts continue to be linked to cattle, with the prime cause as “access to resources, especially grazing land and water points for animals.” Clashes occur mainly during the dry seasons, when pastoralists migrate in search of water and grazing lands. Resource-based conflicts also occur between agriculturalists and pastoralists. Recent conflict has compounded the scarcity of resources, as 3.6 million people have been uprooted from their homes--farming has been rendered nearly impossible in many regions of the country. Economic crisis has made the lives of everyone difficult. The inflation rate stands at 835 percent- the world highest inflation rate.
The Rainmaker Enterprise believes that South Sudan needs grassroots, long-term solutions. Water and land management can sustain year-round agriculture and provide shared resources. By installing solar-powered drip irrigation systems on managed plots of land, The Rainmaker Enterprise ensures year-round steady water supply to fertile plots of land. This creates communally productive spaces that allow improved crop yields and cycles, and healthier livestock. Thus, the Rainmaker Enterprise strives to address protracted inter-communal conflicts, reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition rates, and create employment opportunities in communities in South Sudan.
Sustainable Energy: Clean energy is a rising trend in many African countries. In our case, solar power provides a self-sustaining, cost-efficient way to manage water and allow irrigation to occur in diverse locations. Solar energy is especially important in South Sudan, where only 5.1% of the country’s population has access to electricity, the lowest percentage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Solar energy that improves the potential of agriculture and pastoralism is key for the country’s development.
Food Security: By providing spaces for sustained food production year-round, we are working towards food security in South Sudanese communities. Irrigated land will improve crop yields and rotations, reducing food shortages, hunger and malnutrition that worsen during dry seasons. The fodder crops planted for livestock grazing will improve the health of cattle and boost milk production in dairy cows.
Improved Livelihoods: Managed and productive spaces are key for investment in agriculture and pastoralism - the majority of the population’s livelihood in South Sudan. For farmers, the Rainmaker system allows year-round farming by pumping floodwater into holding tanks, also doubling as a solution to flooding that is prevalent in South Sudan. Pesticides and insecticides, as well as improved farming techniques, will be provided for higher productivity cultivation. Through our system, pastoralists have access to fertile grazing pastures and water, allowing them to avoid conflict over otherwise scarce and uncertain resources, and maintain healthy livestock for higher returns in market.
Local Employment: The Rainmaker’s properties are managed by local teams of highly-trained staff, thus providing meaningful employment and technical training in the community. From running the pump systems to managing customers to operating machinery to maintain the land, the Rainmaker properties provide quality employment opportunities. Year-round agricultural activities provide dozens of job opportunities to youth and women to work the farms and provide for their families and communities.
Drinking Water: The solar-powered pump systems also provide a source of clean drinking water to the communities in which they are located. According to UNICEF, over 30% of people in South Sudan currently lack access to clean drinking water.
Building Peaceful Communities: Most violent conflicts in South Sudan continue to be linked to cattle, with the primary cause as access to scarce water and grazing resources. The Rainmaker Enterprise provides greater certainty of resources by enabling year-round fodder crops and watering locations, with managed access through a subscription-based system to avoid inter-communal conflicts. As the Rainmaker Enterprise satisfies a range of needs in its site locations, it functions to build stronger communities.
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