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Water shortages in North Darfur camps, Red Sea state

A filled Golo reservoir, near El Fasher, North Darfur, used as a source of water supply for local farmers (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A filled Golo reservoir, near El Fasher, North Darfur, used as a source of water supply for local farmers (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The camps in El Fasher, Zamzam, Abu Shouk, and El Salam in El Fasher locality are witnessing a severe water shortage because of the crisis in fuel supply in Sudan. Displaced people are forced to wait for hours to get water to the camp.

A leader of the displaced people said that the price of water product have risen, such as a barrel of water, which now costs SDG60 ($17*).

“People in the camps in El Fasher cannot afford to buy water that is so expensive,” he said.

Also Sinkat in Red Sea state, eastern Sudan, has been suffering of problems with drinking water crisis for over a month. Journalist Osman Hashim told Radio Dabanga that the difficulties to obtain water are caused by high prices and the low water level in the Sinkat dam. “People have to rely on water from wells with a high salinity.”

Throughout Sudan, prices for goods have skyrocketed and even water is scarce as lack of fuel causes pumping engines across the most arid regions to splutter to a halt. Electricity generators are similarly silent, leaving much of the countryside in darkness.

Also commodity prices in the capital, Khartoum and the states have been rising with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan at a time when Khartoum is witnessing a crisis in transportation and a rise in tariff rates.

Zero thirst’

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.

Yesterday, Minister Mousa responsed to a question in parliament on the Zero thirst programme. “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.”

In recent years, President Omar Al Bashir has announced similar projects to end the thirst in the country.

Mousa said that the project includes 7,500 projects in all Sudanese states, which aim to raise the share of water to citizens from 27 liters to 35 liters per day. He noted that the total cost of the project is $900 million; $480 million of which arrive through Arab funds.

“The ministry has implemented 1,200 projects with an implementation rate of 41 percent of the total projects and 6,300 projects implemented during the period from the current year until 2020.

* SDG 28,148 = USD 1 based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan

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