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Thirst growing in Darfur camps

April 23 - 2017 SORTONY / ZAMZAM / GIREIDA
A staff member of the Sudanese Water Corporation, monitors the level of water in Abu Shouk camp, North Darfur, June 2013 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A staff member of the Sudanese Water Corporation, monitors the level of water in Abu Shouk camp, North Darfur, June 2013 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

Displaced living in the Sortony and Zamzam camps in North Darfur complain about a severe drinking water shortage. Residents of the Gireida camps for the displaced in South Darfur suffer from thirst as well.

Several displaced told Radio Dabanga from Sortony that two weeks ago the number of water tankers carrying water to the camp was reduced from 17 vehicles per day to two vehicles, resulting in a severe water crisis for the about 63,000 people in the camp.

“We cannot afford to buy water for SDG5 ($0.70) per jerry-can, sold by the owners of the donkey carts,” a camp resident said. “And when we leave the camp to get water from a well, we more often than not are assaulted by militiamen.”

In the Zamzam camp, south of the north Darfur capital El Fasher, people also complain about shortages of drinking water and high prices.

A Zamzam camp elder told this station that 39 of the 79 pumps in the camp are not operating. He expressed his fear that “Our thirst may become fatal in the summer, when the water level in the wells decreases, and it will be more difficult to collect enough water.”

He said that the price of drinking water doubled recently. “We now pay SDG30 ($4.20) to have a water tank filled.”

In Gireida in South Darfur, the price for a barrel of water has risen from SDG12 to SDG20 ($2.80), a resident of the Forika camp reported. “Since last Sunday, five of the water pumps in the camp have stopped working because of a lack of fuel.”

He called on the South Darfur authorities and humanitarian organisations to provide fuel to the camps.   


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