Establishment of a Vetiver Nursery in South Sudan
Since its independence in 2011, much of South Sudan has been racked by tribal conflicts. However, the southeastern part of the country bordering Kenya has remained peaceful but impoverished. In 2015, an IECA Region 2 member, Elise Pinners, and her Kenyan colleague, Jane Wegesa, received SOIL Fund support for an erosion control project in the South Sudan village of Narus just north of the Kenyan border. Jane arranged for transport of 20,000 vetiver seedlings to Narus where she helped the community establish a nursery for this deep-rooted grass which is used widely in the tropics for erosion control. She also showed the local people how to use vetiver to stabilize gullies and how to construct half-moon structures to slow down surface water flow. Once the vetiver seedlings are well established at the nursery, they will be transplanted to family and school vegetable garden plots to protect soils from erosion by tropical rains. Follow-up visits to Narus (sponsored by the SOIL Fund) to check on the use of vetiver and erosion control structures are currently being planned.