Sudan: Islamic Relief action in Darfur 4 Aug 2005

Darfur: an unremitting crisis
Two million people have been driven from their villages because of fighting that began two years ago in Sudan's troubled Darfur region. Today, the crisis is still unresolved, and they are unable to return home.

Farming abandoned across Darfur

Most of those who fled their villages are farmers; instead of working the land they have been forced to languish in the squalid refugee camps of Darfur. Local agricultural production has been ruined by the conflict the planting season has been missed once again this year so there will be nothing to eat except handouts from the aid agencies.

Islamic Relief Action

Islamic Relief's emergency team began work in Darfur in April 2004, providing displaced people with food and shelter.

The IR team is managing the Kerinding II camp for displaced families, many of whom had been living in local schools. The camp now accommodates over 6,000 people who regularly receive food, plastic sheeting, soap, jerrycans and local building materials to build traditional homes.

Islamic Relief has also registered 100 orphans in Kerinding II who will receive additional support.

Water and Sanitation

IR staff are drilling wells in and around the Kerinding II camp in Al-Geneina.

A total of 76 wells have been bored so far: 11 in the camp, 58 in neighbouring areas and another 7 in Azerni to the north of Al-Geneina. Hand pumps have been installed for 48 wells, and 196 people, both men and women, have undergone training as hand pump mechanics.

IR has constructed 270 latrines, 181 bathing cabinets and 252 communal showers. Water bladders that can hold 62,000 litres of water have been set up in Kerinding II. A set of 20 latrines were also installed in the camp school and nursery for children.

Water is supplied by tankers at least twice daily, but IR is planning to develop a more permanent water supply system in the camp.


Islamic Relief staff built and run a clinic in Kerinding II that services the camp as well as the local population. Workshops on AIDS/HIV awareness are carried out regularly, as well as counselling for victims of rape.

Islamic Relief also supplies Al-Geneina Hospital and Kulbus Hospital with medicines periodically .


Residents of Kerinding II send their children to Islamic Relief's Masakhane School where over 1,000 children are enrolled. The school has 19 classes and 28 teachers ?some from the local community and others from the capital, Khartoum. The pupils also receive meals, uniforms and school bags.

Ten prospective teachers are undergoing teacher training in the camp.

IR has also opened four adult literacy classes in Kerinding II.

Aid for Darfur Locals

To help reduce tensions between the inhabitants of villages near IR's Kerinding II camp and the displaced population, IR has began assisting the village of Um-Duwain with water and food.

A conflict over water between the two communities threatened to worsen the security situation in the camp. To diffuse the tension, IR began trucking water into Um-Duwain and distributed Qurbani meat.

Further projects are being planned for the residents of Um-Duwain, including wells, orphan support, food distribution and education.

Stoves For Peace

Islamic Relief has trained 311 women in Kerinding II how to make a new, fuel efficient stove. In the desert environment of Darfur, wood is scarce and women can spend hours in search of firewood.

Outside the camps, women are vulnerable to attack, and the scarcity of wood brings the displaced population into competition with local communities. This can lead to tension between the two communities and even conflict.

The new stove means that less wood is used, and less time is spent searching for wood. Energy-efficient stoves can decrease the time spent collecting wood by approximately 40 percent.

IR will eventually train 500 women to produce energy-efficient stoves.