Farmers in arid Djibouti to benefit from new UN scheme to trap surface water

14 February 2008

The United Nations agency tasked with trying to reduce rural poverty is setting up an $11.6 million project to better capture and make use of surface water in Djibouti, the small Horn of Africa nation frequently beset by drought.

The new scheme aims to increase the average incomes of 6,000 households in three regions of Djibouti by 20 per cent, meet their drinking water and livestock water needs and boost nutritional standards, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said in a press release issued yesterday from its Rome headquarters.

The project will introduce two surface-water mobilization techniques to Djibouti, where about 50 per cent of the rural population has no access to water either for drinking or for the needs of their livestock and where underground water capacity has been used up.

In the first, small dams will be constructed in 10 selected sites across the country. In the second, cisterns, earth tanks and supplementary works for soil and water conservation will be built. There will also be reseeding and regeneration efforts in and around the Day Forest area and vocational training towards the making of forestry products will be supported.


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