Bringing water to Tunisia′s struggling farmers | Global Ideas | DW | 09.07.2020

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Global Ideas

Bringing water to Tunisia's struggling farmers

Water scarcity is a major problem in Tunisia. Rainwater often goes to waste and groundwater is overused. Can new farming methods, cisterns and sustainable practices protect the resource for future generations?

Watch video 06:36

Tunisia: Where water is a precious resource

Project aims: Raising awareness about fair water distribution for current and future generations; adapting farming methods; building water storage cisterns; establishing water forums

Project partners: German development agency, GIZ, local authorities and farmers in the Kairouan region, Tunisia's agriculture ministry

Project duration: 2016 to summer 2023

Budget: €20 million

Water is scarce in Tunisia. Across the northern African country, shortages of drinking and irrigation water are common, as rainfall has become less frequent.

Collecting what little rainwater there is in reservoirs could help, but they can't be built everywhere and just a small percentage of farmers in the country can access them. Instead, most depend on the coming rain to water their crops. Drinking water usually comes from distant wells.

To help farmers, Germany's development agency GIZ launched a scheme in 2016 with local authorities in the inland Kairouan region to use water more efficiently. That includes looking for alternative farming methods where there's no access to reservoirs or groundwater. The scheme is also building cisterns to catch rainwater.

On a national level, Tunisia's agriculture ministry is supporting the establishment of water forums, is advising regional governments on water use and wants to reduce water waste, all in an effort to protect the essential resource for future generations.

A film by Hamdi Dallali and Julia Henrichmann

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