July typically marks the beginning of the three-month rainy season in Senegal. This region of West Africa usually receives most of the year’s precipitation during this period. This year, however, CREATE!’s partner communities in Senegal have only had two light rainfalls. Farmers have not yet been able to plant peanuts, the principal cash crop in CREATE! communities. There has not been enough rainfall for the grass to grow and support grazing animals.
CREATE!’s field technicians say that the situation is dire. Without steady rainfall, animals may starve and farmers will lose this year’s peanut crop. By providing access to clean, abundant water, CREATE! has helped our garden cooperatives irrigate their crops even during the dry season. But these wells are not able to support peanut fields or animal fodder.
In recent years, climate change has produced more unpredictable weather patterns and disrupted traditional agricultural cycles. More than 90 percent of farmers in Senegal rely exclusively on rain to irrigate their crops. As we enjoy summer rains here in Eugene, please keep our friends in Senegal in your thoughts. Inshallah, rains will soon fall in Senegal.