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In finding new, effective ways to supply water to the people of Darfur, communities have the chance to come together and reclaim their land, their livelihoods and their future.

Closed Project

The Challenge

Darfur, an area of Northern Sudan, faces increasing droughts. The lack of water is forcing families to migrate and creating local conflict in the area as those who remain struggle to find enough to drink and care for their livestock and crops.

  • Women and children spend hours walking to collect water everyday, which means less time working for an income.
  • The use of the available water is prioritised to drinking, livestock and crops, so hygiene suffers with no water left for washing or cleaning.
  • Many existing water points are badly managed or lack funding to replace parts and fix breakages.
  • Much of Darfur sits on shallow rock with little or no access to groundwater, but introducing more irrigation systems to tackle this problem causes problems for the water supply further down the chain.

“Before, the community health promoters used to give us strong hygiene advice, but without water we could not do what we were advised to do.”

Nafish O’shak of Darastra village, Sudan

The Ingenious Solution

Working with local governments, technical departments and the communities affected by drought has enabled us to put a series of initiatives in place to provide enough clean water for everyone. Establishing an effective Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) system to protect the supply for the future.

  • We’ve assessed how much groundwater is available, how we can replenish this and set up systems to plan for its distribution throughout the communities in the area, preventing future conflicts.
  • Existing pumps have been repaired and new ones constructed, with training given to local committees in how to operate and maintain them in the future.
  • We’ve worked with locals to promote good sanitation and hygiene practices, keeping them healthy.
  • The improved availability of water has reduced crop failure and kept livestock healthy, increasing productivity.
  • Farmers have been offered training in climate-smart agriculture techniques to increase crop yield and maintain the soil’s fertility.
  • Tree-planting is being promoted to improve topsoil for farming and repair damage caused by deforestation.
  • Women and children no longer have to spend hours walking for water, giving them more time to go to school or earn an income.

“With Practical Action everything has changed. Our solar water pump has changed our life dramatically. Now it’s the easiest thing to get water.”

Altayed, North Darfur, Sudan

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