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Minister: East Darfur water crisis ‘dire’

March 22 - 2019 ED DAEIN
A Darfur woman draws water from a well (File photo: Mohamad Almahady / Unamid)
A Darfur woman draws water from a well (File photo: Mohamad Almahady / Unamid)

The Minister of Urban Planning in East Darfur Abdelmuhsin Hasan has acknowledged that the state is suffering from a dire water crisis.

Yesterday, the minister said in a press statement in the state capital of Ed Daein that one of the localities of the state does not have a single well or reservoir, which led to a rise in the price of a barrel of water to SDG 180 ($3.80*).

He pointed out that the state needs more than 250 wells to eliminate thirst.

The minister ridiculed the Zero Thirst Programme set out by Khartoum, explaining that the programme deals with double standards between states.

Zero Thirst Programme

In June 2018 in Khartoum, the Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity, Mutaz Mousa, said that Arab financial institutions have frozen the funding of the Zero Thirst Programme because of the failure of the Central Bank of Sudan to pay the periodic dues.

In response to questions in Parliament on the Zero thirst programme, the Minister said at the time: “The funding of the project, Zero thirst, is contingent on the central bank’s meeting of its commitments to the Arab funds, as well as the problem of instability of the exchange rate and the availability of fuel.”

Long journeys

In January, residents of the areas of Labado, Muhajiriya, Abu Nuani and Abu Donkol of Yassin locality in East Darfur complained of an extreme lack of water, due to the destruction of water sources and the disruption of the water pumps.

A number of callers told Radio Dabanga that the wells and the water engines destroyed during the war have not been repaired or maintained so far.

Residents from Abu Sineit area said they must make a six-hour return trip with animals to find water. In addition to infrastructure destroyed by hostile action, chronic fuel shortages across Sudan have forced many water pumps to shut down, which creates drinking water shortages for the population and livestock, as well as threatening agriculture with failure due to lack of irrigation.

As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the Market Makers Mechanism-determined daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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