Real Life Story
Practical Demonstrations Preserve Rainfall in Sudan
Like much of Sudan, farming is hard in the areas around
Kebkabiya in North Darfur, in the west of the country. The
land is arid and rainfall is scarce and unpredictable.
Most of the land owned and cultivated by the local farmers is
sandy loam soil with a hard surface. Any rain that does fall
tends to run off the sloping land. Under such conditions, the
traditional hand hoe is an inadequate farming tool which is
time consuming to use and causes many hardships to women
who perform 75% of the cultivation activities. In the 1990s
several development organisations came together to develop
new donkey draw ploughs to help tackle the cultivation
problem. The ploughs were designed with the help of local
farmers, and made by village blacksmiths.
A series of local demonstrations were designed to familiarise
local farmers with the new way of ploughing. Farmers were
shown how to link the plough to the donkey, how to train the
donkey to pull the plough, and how to undertake cultivation.
Donkey feeding and healthcare was also taught.
After the demonstrations local farmers explained that they were
now able to break up the soil’s surface crust and plough big
Practical Action Sudan
ridges. This meant that precious rainfall was captured and
allowed to soak into the soil, instead of being lost. Some farmers mentioned that the
ploughing also made subsequent weeding easier.
Real life story by kind permission of Practical Action Sudan
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This document is based on the Micro Media Card Pack: A Tool Kit for Community
Development Workers produced by Practical Action in October 2003.
Practical Action is a development charity with a difference. We know the simplest ideas can have the
most profound, life-changing effect on poor people across the world. For over 40 years, we have been
working closely with some of the world’s poorest people - using simple technology to fight poverty and
transform their lives for the better. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin