The Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project

The Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project

Sharing water to survive climate change

Only through dialogue – give and take – can water be well managed, securing peace and strengthening identities. This is exactly what has happened in Wadi El Ku. We have seen major shifts in willingness to work together from all people - upstream and downstream on the river.

Mr. Cosimo Lamberti-Fossati, EU Delegation in Sudan Project Manager


Darfur has a long history of severe food shortages and cyclical episodes of drought. These have affected the livelihoods of the rural population and determined their coping mechanisms, including migration. Many people, including the landless and many internally displaced peoples, are highly dependent on seasonal employment in the agricultural sector. Moreover, the ongoing crisis in Darfur, which started in 2003, continues to generate enormous humanitarian and recovery needs. All these factors, including population growth and climate change, contribute to increasing the pressure on natural resources, jeopardising the sustainability of the environment.


  • To contribute to improving livelihoods of conflict-affected populations in Darfur through the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Specifically, this means increasing of all aspects of agricultural sector productivity in targeted areas of Wadi El Ku in North Darfur. This is done through rehabilitation and improved management of natural resources, in particular land, vegetation and water.


  • Training of village extension agents in nine (9) locally suited comprehensive (agriculture, natural resource management and value chain) packages through radio broadcasts and field visits.
  • 157 government technical specialists and village extension workers (crop and livestock) trained on the delivery of new or improved natural resource management and livelihoods extension packages.
  • Natural Resource action plans developed by 34 village councils, in an innovative consultative manner.
  • 100 farmer families introduced to agro-forestry approaches.
  • 3 new community surface water storage structures constructed, and 1 water reservoir (hafir) upgraded.
  • 1584 individuals (766 men; 818 women) from 32 villages trained on crescent-shaped terraces and a total of 1584 crescent-shaped terraces constructed.
  • 6 community nurseries established and producing 40,000 seedlings per year.
  • 10 community forests established (average 2 acres / feddan) and one 15 acre/feddan natural forest in one village.
  • 3 dam management committees established and trained.
  • One nursery established, 60,000 seedlings produced in 2016.
  • A Catchment Management Forum established.
  • 315 government staff trained on communication and coordination.
  • 10 additional groundwater loggers installed in 2016.


  • The budget for the project “The Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project for Livelihoods, Development and Sustainable Peace” is EUR 6.45 million
  • Beneficiaries: around 87,500 people from 30 villages, the city of El Fasher with its population of around 430,000 people, and an estimated population of 220,000 from three large IDP camps, all in the Shagra Reach area
  • Duration: from November 2013 to April 2017
  • Implementing partners: United Nation Environment Programme (UN Environment) and Practical Action


Ibrahim Eissa Ibrahim, Farmer, Zamzam village, North Darfur

Piecemeal and poorly planned water development is serious problems in North Darfur. It causes disruption in water supply to farmers and causes conflict. As physical structures are poorly planned and constructed this also contributes to serious soil erosion, creating gullies. Gullies in turn lead to greater loss of water being available for farming. We need to harvest rainwater more intelligently and more importantly; we also need to work together as water affects all.

The weir which has been provided through the project has helped us increase our yields and protect us from poor rainfall. It has also brought together many villages to manage the weir and in turn the water. As a result water is a connector rather than a divider. As a committee, we’ have been trained on how to organise ourselves and our affairs, and how to troubleshoot and maintain the structure. We now also have a bank account to collect community contributions for maintenance.

Our relationship with the State Ministry of Agriculture is good now, so we feel we can engage them directly engage for support when needed. The project has brought visitors to our community from all over Sudan. They want to see how the weir works. I am particularly proud to have received the Federal Minister of International Cooperation, the Director of Sudan’s Agricultural Renaissance Project, both based in Khartoum, as well visitors from the University of El Fasher.