Rain and the Model Farm

two people overlook an empty concrete cistern while rain clouds loom in the distance

Nicaragua is especially vulnerable to climate change due to its geographic position. Since the 1960s, Nicaragua’s mean annual temperature has increased about half a degree (F) each decade. This has resulted in a drastic decrease in total rainfall (5-6% each decade) yet heavy, monsoon-like rains during the traditional rainy season. Check out the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal for more data on how Nicaragua has been impacted.

These changes in climate and rainfall have created unique challenges for farmers in Nicaragua and JustHope’s Model Farm. Some seasons there isn’t sufficient water to nourish crops. Other seasons, deluges of water threaten floods and soil erosion. Back in the summer of 2017, JustHope brought together a group of partners to build a rainwater cistern that captures water to be used on the farm, but even it is vulnerable to the region’s torrential downpours.

Because the Model Farm’s cistern is its lifeline, a committee made up of local farmers, community representatives and JustHope staff, have voted to reinforce the cistern’s infrastructure, building a stronger foundation and stabilizing it against future flooding. This will ensure the cistern can handle heavy rains and supply an adequate water source to the farm for years to come.

The Model Farm’s cistern holds 10,000 liters (or 2,642 gallons) of water, and the project to strengthen it will cost around $2,500. So, $1 donated = 1 gallon.