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Fuel crisis leads to thirst and failure of agriculture in Sudan

April 22 - 2018 SUDAN
Irrigating land in Sudan (file photo)
Irrigating land in Sudan (file photo)

The ongoing scarcity of fuel in Sudan is affecting the provision of drinking water and the agriculture in the country. People in various states in the country complain about a scarcity of drinking water because of the lack of fuel needed for the pumps. Farmers in El Gezira and El Gedaref have again expressed their concerns about the expected failure of the summer season.

Since Wednesday, residents of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan, are suffering again from a water crisis.

“Because of the lack of fuel, the people now have to resort to hand pumps and donkey carts to get drinking water,” a listener reported. “Because of the growing demand, we now pay SDG 60 for a barrel of water from a donkey cart,”he complained.

In eastern Sudan’s Sennar, the price of a barrel of water rose to SDG 40 two weeks ago, when the fuel crisis became acute.

Residents of Kosti in White Nile State are entirely bereft of drinking water, after the water network went down earlier this month.

“People living in the outskirts of the town, such as El Ingaz, are forced to buy expensive water distributed by private car owners because the donkey carts do not reach their districts,” an angry housewife said.

In the Khartoum districts of Abu Hamama, Sajana, Kalakla, Hillet Kuku, and Banat, long lines in vehicles in front of petrol stations re-appeared again last week.

Crops

Members of El Gezira and El Managil Scheme reported to Radio Dabanga on Friday that the owners of tractors have risen the lease price for the cultivation of an acre from SDG 20 ($ 1*) to SDG 50, to be able to cope with the increase of the fuel prices.

In El Gedaref, the crops in more than 2,000 acres of horticultural farms on the banks of the Atbara and Setit rivers, and in El Mugran and El Fashaga are in danger because of the lack of fuel needed for the irrigation pumps.

“The sorghum harvest is fully paralysed because of the ongoing lack of diesel needed for our machines. The irrigation pumps are stalled for the same reason, which means that the cultivation of vegetables this year will almost certainly fail,” farmer Ahmed Hasan from Galaa El Nahal told this station.

He explained that the price of a barrel of diesel jumped to SDG 4,500 ($ 247) on the black market. “Even the farmers who can afford this suffer, as agents of the economic security apparatus confiscate diesel purchased from the parallel market.”

The farmer as well complained about the soaring transportation costs. “When we want to take a bus from Galaa El Nahal to neighbouring villages, we now pay SDG 60 instead of SDG 20 last year,” he said.

* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)


 


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