UNAMID provides water to Darfur villages

New York, US (PANA) - The UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Wednesday said the residents of eight villages in Darfur will be among the first in the arid Sudanese region to have easy access to water under an initiative introduced by the mission.

The mission, in a statement made available to PANA in New York, said it would distribute several thousand high-capacity water containers each shaped like a barrel and capable of carrying 75 litres or four standard jerry cans of water to the villagers over the next two weeks.

It stated that at a ceremony held to commence the initiative in Kuma Garadayat in North Darfur state, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID, handed out the containers to women who have returned to the village.

"Women and children are usually responsible for collecting water for their families in Darfur, a vast and remote region, where rainfall is relatively low and droughts common,'' it said.

"The project is to make life easier and safer for women, and also to underscore the fact that water has not only been a source of conflict; it is also the solution,” the statement quoted Gambari as saying.

He also said that, "it is our hope that their use will not only support former displaced persons but also help protect civilians as they return to resume their lives.

"One of the major sources of conflict in Darfur is water,” Gambari said, noting that, "among our main priorities is to assist communities who want to return to their homes to continue with their lives.

"And so, I want to show you our commitment to seeking durable peace and access to water,'' he added.

UNAMID also said the containers, manufactured by the Hippo Water Roller Project from South Africa, are designed to relieve most of the physical burden of carrying water and to reduce the number of trips a resident will have to make to a water source.

It also said that, apart from residents of the eight villages, the water containers have also been provided to members of a women’s cooperative in West Darfur state.

"Eventually the containers will be distributed to villagers across the region,'' it stated.

Darfur is home to large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) since conflict erupted between rebels, Sudanese government forces and allied militiamen in 2003.
-0- PANA AA/BOS 27April2011

27 april 2011 15:11:37




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