About 750,000 people in three Darfur states will have improved access to water supply and sanitation through a €3.3 million African Water Facility grant approved by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on 26 January 2012.
The grant will finance the preparation of bankable investment plans to leverage the $100 million in financing required to meet the medium and longer term water and sanitation needs of the inhabitants in 15 to 20 towns in Darfur, as well as neighbouring pastoralists and nomadic peoples. The AWF grant will also be used to undertake priority rehabilitation works and to demonstrate integrated approaches to meeting domestic, institutional, commercial livestock and small-scale farming, water and sanitation needs in about six of these towns.
The project will also address the other key factor resulting in the inequitable distribution of water in Darfur, namely, weak institutions and lack of resources to manage, operate and maintain water infrastructure, by building the capacity of the State Water Corporations and communities in the model towns to sustainably manage their investments and their water resources, and to effectively deliver water and sanitation services.
“This project aligns with AWF’s mid-term strategy where it commits to strengthen support to fragile or conflict-affected countries, often prone to water-related clashes given their limited means to manage water issues” said Sering Jallow, AfDB Director, Water and Sanitation department. “The grant is expected to have ripple effect by preparing the ground for additional investment to support the people of Sudan”
As a result of the planned interventions, the project will contribute to sustainable recovery and lasting peace in the Darfur region by ensuring equitable access to water resources to meet all water needs.
“The approval of this project marks a significant contribution by the African Water Facility towards resolving the ongoing peace building efforts in Darfur” said Elfatih Mohamed Khalid, executive director for Sudan. “Access to water for all segments of the people is no doubt fundamental in bringing about a constructive resettlement of internally displaced people of Darfur.”