How to feed a community when what they owned has been flushed away and the way of life as they knew it is no longer possible? Meet William, lecturer at the University of Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan. He joined the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) course Climate Action for Food Systems Transformation.
William: “I had only just finish the course when South-Sudan was struck by the worst flooding in our history. My home Bor town was completely inundated and everyone was relocated to the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp at Mangalla Payam, built on the higher ground."
Empowered to help
"Since most of Bor Town is now permanently inundated and people’s homes have collapsed, the IDP camp has become their new home. With great damages to crops and loss of livestock and grazing meadows, many found themselves without livelihood. An immediate solution was needed. I set up seminars for women groups, buying them seeds to switch from the maise (corn) they used to grow to vegetables, like kale (Sukuma Wiki), tomatoes, spinach, lady finger, okra and onions. This produce continues to provide them with food to eat or barter for some meat or fish.”
Empowered to lead
“Being one of the affected, following the course has changed my life. I am now regularly asked to give presentations on climate change by consultancies and institutions, such as the World Bank and IGAD (Intergovernmental Agency for Development).
Also, we need to urgently implement mitigation solutions, like planting water tolerant trees to fortify the dams. The tree nurseries and the people to plant them are available, but our government has no money. That’s why I am running on my own funds as well as lobbying with the UNDP and IDAD (Institute for Democratic Action and Development).”
Empowered by knowledge
“The course has also changed my way of thinking. I attribute my knowledge on mitigating strategies and vulnerability of livestocks and livelihoods to WCDI’s course. It has provided me with new perspectives on natural hazard research and the nexus between food security and climate change. I dream of one day doing my PhD at Wageningen University and Research.”
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