25,000 need aid in East Jebel Marra: OCHA Sudan

There is an urgent need for water and sanitation in East Jebel Marra, South Darfur, humanitarian agencies report.

There is an urgent need for water and sanitation in East Jebel Marra, South Darfur, humanitarian agencies report.

An inter-agency mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the village of Belle Elsereif has found that about 25,000 people (14,000 displaced persons, 7,500 returnees and 3,500 nomads) need access to clean water and sanitation, health care and nutrition services, emergency household supplies, as well as education and protection support.

The mission took place from 19 to 21 February, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports. Residents of Belle Elsereif and surrounding villages were affected by conflict between the government's military forces and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLA-AW) between 2014 and 2015.

There are three hand pumps in Belle Elsereif, the main village in the area, which serve both Belle Elsereif and ten surrounding villages. People often have to wait up to three hours to collect water. According to the mission, existing water sources are sufficient to serve 3,500 out of the 17,600 people in the area.

People in the area depend on inadequate, contaminated water sources in the immediate vicinity. There are no sanitation facilities in this area of East Jebel Marra, but a couple of families were attempting to construct improvised latrines, the mission stated.

Health facilities

There is no health facility in Belle Elsereif, except one clinic made out of local materials 3km away in Dobo El Madrassa, run by a medical assistant and a nurse. OCHA recommended humanitarian partners to provide a wider range of health services, carry out vaccinations, and to stock existing facilities with essential medicines.

Regarding education, one basic school in Belle Elsereif and seven other schools in surrounding villages accommodate 2,213 children in total, while lacking education materials and nearly all teachers are volunteers.

Nomadic communities who currently share the scarce resources with the displaced people and returnees should be “considered” during any humanitarian intevention, OCHA wrote. After the registration of their needs, assistance “will soon be provided to the most vulnerable”.