El Fasher — To address water scarcity, which is among the root causes of conflict in Darfur the African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the Government of Sudan and the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), launched on 29 November in El Fasher, North Darfur, several water projects to be implemented across the region.
These projects are expected to contribute to reducing conflict over water resources and assist in achieving durable peace in Darfur.
The projects will be funded by a grant of 3.3 million Euros, approved by the AfDB earlier this year as part of its African Water Facility initiative.
The grant will cover the rehabilitation of water facilities and construction of new boreholes to encourage the return of internally displaced persons and refugees, which is one of the priorities of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
The projects are designed to meet the immediate and long term water needs of approximately 750,000 inhabitants, comprising nomads and farmers in the region.
"The project demonstrates AfDB's commitment to assist the Government and people of Sudan to create conditions for sustainable peace and stability, as a key prerequisite for adequately addressing the massive reconstruction and other development needs in Darfur," said Dr. Abdul Kamara, the Bank's resident representative.
Dr. Kamara also expressed the Bank's readiness to help create the appropriate conditions for addressing the economic and social constraints in Sudan, including debt relief, capacity deficits, food insecurity and meeting the Millennium Development Goals as well as emerging challenges. "AfDB is working to assist Sudan to consolidate poverty-reduction and long term economic growth," he said.
Speaking on behalf of UNAMID's Acting Joint Special Representative (JSR), the Director of Mission Support, Mr. Wolfgang Weiszegger, said that "UNAMID will continue to provide technical and logistic support in the collective efforts to help the people of Darfur to achieve peace and durable development."
On 25 November, an agreement to implement water projects in Darfur was officially signed between the African Development Bank and the Sudanese Government, in the presence of Minister of Finance, Minister of Water, Darfur state ministers and UNAMID Deputy JSR Mohamed Yonis.
Last year, an international water conference in Khartoum brought together more than 200 experts in water use and distribution, as well as donors. The forum, sponsored by the Government of Sudan, UN Agencies, and UNAMID, was aimed at building an innovative and sustainable water service system for all communities in Darfur.
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