24 January 2013

Sudan: 'Acute' Potable Water Shortage for Three Weeks in Central Darfur Camps

Zalingei — The population of two displaced camps in Central Darfur, Hamidiya and Hasahissa, have been suffering an "acute shortage" of potable water for three weeks, forcing them to travel kilometers to the nearest sources.

A Zalingei camps coordinator told Radio Dabanga on Thursday that displaced are traveling about three kilometers to reach Azum and Ariba valleys in order to fetch "a tin of water".

He pointed out this exposes them to security problems and makes them vulnerable to attacks by pro-government militias stationed by the roads leading to the water sources.

Some of the water the displaced bring back to the camps is contaminated and is causing diarrhea among children, according to the coordinator.

The camps' population urged different foreign aid organizations to find a solution to their water-shortage problem, particularly as the summer is approaching.

It appears that the government has blocked organizations' attempts to provide solar energy devices to displaced camps, the coordinator reported. He explained the solar panels would facilitate water supply as old machines could be substituted by new, low-cost ones.

The coordinator added that the government is also preventing organizations' efforts to bring medicines and aid to the camps. He said the International Medical Corporation has been waiting for permission to bring drugs to the displaced since August 2012.

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