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North Darfur, Red Sea towns short on water

Donkey carts lined-up to fetch water at a water station in Umbadda in Sudna (file photo)
Donkey carts lined-up to fetch water at a water station in Umbadda in Sudna (file photo)

Towns in Red Sea state have experienced a drinking water shortage for days. Residents of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, renewed their complaint of the ongoing water outages.

The drinking water shortage in Sawakin, in Red Sea state, forced people to queue in long lines of water carts in front of water sources, journalist Osman Hashim told Radio Dabanga. The prices of water have risen again.

A lack of operative water networks in Sawakin may be the cause of the shortage, Hashim said. Residents have become dependent of their carts to fetch water from other places.

Local government authorities fail to timely provide water in Sawakin as the consumption has increased during the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to the arrival of large numbers of pilgrims.

El Fasher

People in the peripheral districts of El Fasher in North Darfur renewed their complaint about the water crisis, especially evident in the districts of Shakir, El Wehda and El Turba. Minister of Urban Planning, Kamal Abushouk has acknowledged the shortage.

Abushouk attributed the shortages to the decrease in the water storage capacity of Golo Reservoir, pointing to the accumulation of mud. “The city is expanding and brought about an increase in water consumption, revealing the limitations of the old network,” the Minister said.

The more than 150,000 displaced people living in the Zamzam camp near El Fasher are also suffering from thirst, Radio Dabanga reported on Sunday.


The current agricultural season in El Gezira and El Managil, Sudan’s largest public irrigated agricultural schemes, faces difficulties in increasing its production outputs, seeds, fertilisers and land preparation.

Farmers warned of the possible failure of the harvest and described the preparations as weak. Yesterday a farmer from El Gezira, located between the Blue and White Niles south of Khartoum, told Radio Dabanga that the companies that signed the tender for financing the cotton crop put the price of a quintal (100kg) at SDG1,100 ($164). The price of a cotton quintal in the market is SDG1,500 ($223).

“The preparation of the land is very expensive. There is no maintenance of the irrigation systems which led to delays in the flow of water. This is related to problems at the main gates.”

The farmlands used to be one of the world’s largest irrigation projects. For nearly eighty years, it remained the sole source of hard currency for the country, through the cultivation of cotton. During the last few decades, however, the cotton production was reduced to less than 100,000 acres. About 12 cotton gins in El Gezira state had to close their doors.

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