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Sudanese town districts lack drinking water

November 10 - 2017 PORT SUDAN / DELLING / EL GEDAREF
People obtaining drinking water in El Gedaref, eastern Sudan (file photo)
People obtaining drinking water in El Gedaref, eastern Sudan (file photo)

Complaints about the water management surfaced in Port Sudan, El Gedaref en South Kordofan, following weeks or years of residents suffering difficulties in obtaining drinking water in town districts. 

For nine years residents of the Ganayen Galab district in the Red Sea state capital have faced a lack of potable water because of engineering problems. Yassin Saleh, a resident, estimated the number of houses affected by the problem to be around 80.

“We are often forced to buy more expensive water from donkey carts,” he told Radio Dabanga. “People spend large sums of money to buy water, more than the amount they spend to buy bread a month.”

Residents have submitted a number of complaints and memoranda to the city water management and the state minister of urban planning to adapt the water carrier line, so far in vain. Ganayen Galab is located in a high area and therefore more difficult to bring water to. “It requires the engineering authorities to address the situation,” said Saleh.

Water service stalled

Also in Shagar district, water services have been interrupted for more than two weeks because the supply line from Arbaat is stalled. Journalist Osman Hashim told Radio Dabanga that the district is home to about 20,000 people, of whom a number have filed complaints to the water management.

“Commercial tanks that run on the water carrier line to Shagar affect the amount of water that should reach the district under normal conditions,” Hashim said.

“Residents of Shagar called on the water management to solve the problems, and also to review the permits that are granted to commercial tanks on the water carrier line.”

Lack of water in El Gedaref

In El Gedaref in eastern Sudan, areas have suffered from a complete lack of drinking water for more than two weeks. Listener Muataz Mohamed described the current water shortage as “unprecedented”. “It has hit most districts of the city in addition to markets, hospitals and public utilities,” he said in an interview with Radio Dabanga.

“Drinking water brought by donkey carts may be unsafe.” - Listeners in El Gedaref

Mohamed attributed the lack of water in the districts of El Gedaref town to an explosion of two supply lines in the main water carrier line in Kilo 38 Um Shajara area.

“Now, people have resorted to buying drinking water from carts,” which has become more expensive because of the higher demand. In addition, the source of the water that is brought by the carts may be unsafe.

“There have been more cases of diarrhoea,” the listener said, “but a number of people started to boil the water before drinking it.”

Delling water shortage

People in Delling, South Kordofan, reported that the amount of drinking water in the area has been running low for more than five consecutive months.

Residents in the town told this station that the local water network stopped operating in May, reportedly because of the network’s manipulation of four water stations. “People suffer a lot from the shortage of drinking water.”

Meanwhile, water stations sell drinking water to people on donkey carts. “Districts that are connected to the water network are receiving drinking water from these carts, similar to those that are not connected.”

Because of the shortage, the price of a water barrel in Delling ranges between SDG10 to SDG15 ($1.50-2.20).  

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