February in Old Fangak, South Sudan is a time of hot, dry days. The rainy season came to an end in September and the water soaked earth is now cracked. The dry season will last for about 6 months, and during that time our team will be on the ground working to support our farmers and to drill new water wells. As we write, a team in the village of Dhoreak has drilled to 45m and tomorrow, February 22, they will case this borehole. The first one in this small village.
The dry season is a time of hope. With the passing of the rains comes the first harvest. But then the dry season deepens, and farmers must find a way to water their crops without rain. This is the scariest time to be a refugee. Food in rural South Sudan is scarce, to begin with. No matter where you are, and no matter who you are. But for some people that don't have land - refugees - the inability to grow your own food can be a death sentence.
The support we are bringing to 120 farming families in Old Fangak is critical. They will help to feed their community, and more bellies will be full. Our project has brought seeds and seedlings which have been distributed among the farmers. We have brought watering cans which are a simple and effective way to water the gardens in the dry season.
There are some 50,000+ refugees in Old Fangak. They have arrived fleeing the violence of civil war. Though a peace accord has been signed, many of these people will stay. Their homes have been destroyed. At least in Old Fangak they have clean water to drink, medical care, and the help coming via seeds and tools to start small gardens.
The donations have helped bring hope and a better life. They are so grateful.