Cor: ‘I stand up for people affected by the consequences of climate change’
Cor is a former Programme Manager and Country Director at Dorcas.
‘South Sudan is not only plagued by conflicts. It is also prone to flooding due to its relatively low elevation. The country lacks the infrastructure to contain floodwaters, so the rivers overflow and inundate the land. Climate change has worsened this problem because the rainfall is now more frequent and intense.’
‘In the Netherlands, we use dikes to contain water, so why not do the same in South Sudan? With that thought in mind, we initiated a project in collaboration with ZOA to build dikes. Last year, as a pilot project, we constructed a four-kilometre-long dike that provided flood protection for many people. This year, with the assistance of Pharus and EO Metterdaad, we are building two large dikes.’
‘These dikes are being built in a peaceful and conflict-free region that is highly underdeveloped and difficult to reach. For example, during the rainy season, the project area can only be accessed by boat or hollowed-out tree trunks. However, this is definitely a location where Dorcas can make a significant difference.’
‘We want to realise sustainable change, and so before the project started, we extensively researched whether the local population welcomed the idea of dikes. This may sound logical but, unfortunately, we know of cases where humanitarian assistance organisations built dikes only to see these destroyed by fishermen who preferred certain areas to flood. Our research revealed that the local population really welcomed the dikes. Therefore, we know that with this project, we can effectively combat climate change in a sustainable manner together with the local community.’
This story is part of Dorcas’ human rights campaign. Read more stories and statements on our dedicated human rights page. dorcas.org/humanrights
09 January 2024
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