How the Dinka in South Sudan cope with climate change

According to FAO’s 2011 World Livestock Report, 120 million people depend on livestock for their food security. In contrast to intensive agriculture, hundreds of millions of small producers in the world fight against global warming and are the main victims of climate change. However, small-scale livestock farming can address the impacts of climate change and tackle its causes.

In this short documentary, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières presents the challenges and coping strategies of Dinka small-scale livestock keepers in South Sudan.

Livestock is an essential element of Dinkas’ everyday life as it provides income, social status and contributes significantly to food and nutritional security.

In recent years, in addition to conflicts, the increasing variability of climate has affected the availability of quality pastures, as the dry season is becoming more and more extreme, while soils are deteriorated by floods. Mobility is a traditional practice that allows the Dinka to adapt to changing seasons and climate variability. Through mobility, the Dinka are also able to fertilize larger shares of soils, which are cultivated with the aim of diversify their activities.

Because of their mobility, the Dinka shepherds find it difficult to access to animal health services. That’s why the network of Community Based Animal Health Workers (CAHW) has been created. The network accounts today of more than 100 CAHW that work in South Sudan, and proved very useful for the eradication of the rinderpest in 2011.

Through CAHW the traditional knowledge of the community is complemented by veterinary knowledge that not only saves animals, but also human lives. The knowledge and experience of the Dinkas are important assets that need to be recognises and reinforced, especially concerning their central role for climate change adaptation strategies.

Whatch the short documentary (11 minutes), realised by Fabien Blanchon for VSF:

 

Or whatch the shorter version of the video (4 minutes), realised by Fabien Blanchon and Luca Sabbioni:

 

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