IRISS: Strategies and technologies to build resilience against droughts and floods

  • Countries of Operation: South Sudan
Concern Worldwide and its partners are running a programme to build community resilience to floods and droughts in South Sudan.  Key components include: climate smart agriculture, improved irrigation and early warning systems. The consortium aims to produce evidence of what works to build resilience to influence policy level within the national government. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Under BRACED, Concern Worldwide and its partners: ACTED,  Oxfam, FAO and The Sudd Institute are working together in South Sudan to build the resilience of flood  and drought prone communities in Northern Bahr al Ghazal, Warrap and Lake states. Decades of conflict have reduced people’s ability to build up resilience to the cycles of floods and droughts.  While flooding is usually seen as beneficial to communities providing water for crops and fisheries, over the years, unpredictable rainfall patterns have led to excessive flooding which has led to heavy agricultural losses.  Assets, particularly cattle are also vulnerable to raiding after flooding and the loss of cattle is devastating for the affected communities. In the long term, nationally, expected impacts of climate change in South Sudan are increased water scarcity, acceleration of desertification and soil erosion and a 20% drop in crop yields is predicted.

In response to these challenges, climate smart/innovative technologies will be introduced for agriculture, livestock, natural resource management and livelihoods diversification.  Male and female farmers will access a greater supply of seed through community seed testing.  Flood and drought tolerant seeds, crucial for adaption will be introduced, farmers will be provided with the latest solar irrigation equipment and work will go on to build private sector engagement around this potential market. This will help ensure productivity and livelihoods can withstand climate induced stresses and shocks and protect household assets. 

An emphasis will also be put on individuals, community and national government’s ability to anticipate, absorb and adapt to shocks and stresses. By the end of the programme communities will be able to identify hazards, mitigate risks and establish disaster information sharing and improve their own coping strategies.

Links will be made to the Agriculture Food Information System (AFIS) currently being established by FAO: AFIS will collect, analyse and share information on productivity, agro-ecology, markets and pastoral systems and provide a voice for informed action and policy enhancement. Stakeholders will be trained at the local level on the use of GIS for mapping and land use planning to improve understanding of land coverage and land use practices. This approach should also bring together different categories of land users including farmers and agro-pastoralists.

Finally the aim is to provide evidence as to what works to build resilience to Government at county, state and national levels and within the regional context to inform their development of policies and plans. The consortium will work across sectors in assisting South Sudan to develop its first adaption and Disaster Risk Management Policies.  

 

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