New Water Network Provides Water to Thousands Displaced in Darfur

One of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world is providing water to thousands of people displaced in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Through a new piped water network, World Vision will provide water to around 25,000 people who have taken refuge in the Mershing and Manawashi areas in the northern part of South Darfur because of continuing violence in the northern part of the state.

“The area serves as the only stable refuge for people displaced by the continuing violence in the northern part of the state,” World Vision stated in a report released today. “Most of the displaced have come from Jabel Mara, Adwa, Tonkitir, Ashaba, and Hamada. The most recent arrivals came from Khor Abeche, a town around 120 km north of Nyala that was recently attacked.”

To cope with the increasing population, two 70,000-litre tanks were positioned in Mershing and Manawashi, with water piped to several stations in the displacement camps. The tanks draw water from boreholes fitted with submersible pumps, pumping at a capacity of 12,000 liters per hour.

World Vision Water Engineer Wilfred Owona said more tanks would be added later in Manawashi.

In the meantime, World Vision reports that the community has been mobilized and trained to take care of the water network, as well as increase sanitation in the camps. Community sanitation committees carry out weekly environmental clean-ups, to prevent any outbreaks of disease.

World Vision Watsan Officer Sheila Donaghy said the program seems to be having an affect on the number of cases of intestinal illness.

"They now realize that they can prevent people from getting sick. They now know that tablets and injections are not the only solution available," she said.

In addition to water sanitation, World Vision is providing a range of interventions in the northern part of South Darfur. The global agency's work in Darfur has included providing emergency food aid, health care, nutrition, education, psycho-social support and water and sanitation to people affected by the conflict.

World Vision reports that more than $15 million (USD) have been spent on the response so far, with funds coming from governments and private donors in New Zealand, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Taiwan, UK, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Austria, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.