MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS AND UNICEF ACTION
Refugee/IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) movement
In South Darfur the estimated number of IDPs is about 1,826,000. The majority of the IDPs live in camps and settlements. The Early Warning system is covering a total of 1,076,639 IDPs and host community members.
About 300 households were moved to UmDukhun, West Darfur, from the surrounding areas because of insecurity.
UNHCR in The Blue Nile has officially announced the end of the refugees and IDPs repatriation operation for 2007. A total of 20,337 people were returned to their homes in the state. The Government of The Blue Nile stated that a total of 50,000 refugees and IDPs have spontaneously returned since January 2007, mostly to Kurmuk, Gaissan and Rosaries localities. To support the re-integration of these returnees, UNICEF partners have established 66 handpumps, 20 classrooms, four teacher offices and are in the process of establishing four water yards. Support also includes the distribution of 400 primary health care kits, 30,000 Long-lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Net (LLINTs), and education supplies. The construction/rehabilitation of an additional 32 classrooms is also well underway. The return taskforce has decided to organise a workshop to evaluate the nature and scope of support to the re-integration of returnees to The Blue Nile. UNICEF and partners will conduct a situation analysis exercises covering water, sanitation and hygiene, education and health sectors. The Department of Development Planning will be assuming a key facilitation function for the whole exercise to re-affirm that return and re-integration are actually government operations supported by the UN and INGOs.
Acute Jaundice Syndrome (AJS)
In South Darfur, 107 cases of AJS were reported compared to 36 last week. Eight of them (7.2 per cent) were from Otash camp. Al Salam camp has reported 60 cases this week (56.1 per cent). - In North Darfur, three cases of AJS were reported from Al Salam camp compared to eight cases last week.
In South Darfur, to raise awareness, coordination, synchronization and reactivation of prevention activities, a series of preparatory meetings were conducted with partners and donors in Nyala to open the communication channels for UNICEF's technical support.
SNAP in coordination with CFCI conducted six awareness raising sessions on HIV/AIDS prevention in Kassala. The total number of sessions conducted so far is 12, out of the 30 planned. - SNAP confirmed that the Kadugli Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) is now fully functional. The Dilling and Kauda VCTs will be functional in the near future.
UNICEF is undertaking a rapid assessment on child protection issues at Al Salam IDP camp, South Darfur. The population of the camp has risen by 7,600 persons in the last 25 days, and is now estimated to be over 22,400 persons. The new arrivals are mostly women and children. Initial findings indicate that these families are fleeing conflict and violence in the Buram areas. The most significant human rights violation reported seven out of 15 women interviewed have experienced or witnessed sexual assault by the armed forces and other armed groups.
The UNICEF Child Protection (CP) section is in the process of pre-testing the CP Information, Education, Communication campaign materials in North Darfur. Focus group discussions were held with staff/animators/social workers and supervisors from NGOs (National and International) working in the IDP camps on the appropriateness of the materials. Feedback received during the sessions has been shared with Khartoum.
On June 4, through Ministerial Decree No. 4/2007 (MoSW), the West Darfur Technical Committee for the Drafting of the State Child Act was created. Committee members include: the Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, Health, Youth and Sport, and Justice; NCCW, Wali's Advisor on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children, Labour Office, Judiciary, Military Legal Consultant, and UNICEF.
In The Blue Nile, the State Malaria Control Program has conducted regular routine follow up exercises for vector control activities in Damazin and Rosaries localities. A malaria awareness campaign in partnership with IRC covering five villages in Kurmuk, Gaissan and south Rosaries localities, has also been conducted.
In South Kordofan, the Malaria Directorate of the Ministry of Health completed distribution of mosquito nets to targeted areas and communities.
In Abyei, over 1,400 mosquito nets were provided to GOAL and SC-US for distribution to returning IDPs.
MSF-H has reported 121 cases of suspected measles in Silaia and in Yasin administrative unit. MSF-H reported an average of 2 - 3 cases per day. The NGO conducted a measles campaign in Silaia in November 2006 achieving over 90 per cent coverage rate. The last measles campaign for the state was done in May 2005 with 95 per cent coverage. Three rounds (March, April and May 2007) of the UNICEF supported routine acceleration campaign have reached Silaia and Yasin with good coverage for under one year olds. A team from State Ministry of Health (SMoH) has visited Yasin and collected samples that were sent to Khartoum. A committee of UNICEF, WHO, MSF-H and SMoH (Epidemiology & EPI departments) has been formed. In Abyei, seven measles cases were reported around Todaj area. WHO is investigating the cases.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
In Al Salam camp, South Darfur, Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) finished the drilling of the new bore, installed a water tank, and laid 1.5 km pipeline and increased the pumping to 12 houses in order to increase water supply.
WES conducted bacteriological tests on 68 samples from Zamzam camp, North Darfur. Samples were collected from hand pumps and tanks, containers in transit to households, and containers in households. Results showed the following: one hand pump was contaminated, which WES immediately chlorinated; 77 per cent of the samples from in transit containers and 96 per cent of the samples from containers in households were contaminated. The results indicate that water at the collection point is safe and chlorinated, but water is contaminated by dirty containers and poor water handling practices after collection.
As part of the Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) preparations, chlorination of all water sources has been stepped up within West Darfur state. A unified monitoring and reporting format, indicating the parameters to be reported on, have been shared and discussed and will be used by all agencies when reporting on water quality.
WES Gadarif continues to work with State Ministry of Health on chlorination of water sources, and hygiene promotion campaigns. They distributed hygiene kits in AWD outbreak areas. WES Gadrif installed 11 hand pumps and provided new water access to an additional 2,750 people.
During the reporting period, access to improved water supply has been increased for 1,750 people in communities emerging from conflict/return locations in Rosaries locality through the establishment of seven new HPs drilled by WES.
In Al Salam, South Darfur, the new influx of IDPs has created a need for a minimum of 30 primary school classrooms to provide space for approximately 3,000 additional school aged children. UNICEF is negotiating for the classroom construction.
UNICEF and partners continue to advocate with State Ministry of Education (SMoE) to ensure that the availability of qualified teachers in schools has resulted in the ministry's commitment to recruit 4,000 additional teachers for the upcoming school year.
In North Darfur, the 2007/08 school year will start on 9 June 2007 in both urban, IDP and rural schools. In The Blue Nile the school year started on 2 June for group (A) students.
In West Darfur, a total of 1,080 steel poles were given to the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the construction of 60 steel frames for temporary classrooms in addition to the 10 steel frames constructed in early April 2007 for two schools. The MoE is expected to complete the fabrications of the steel frames in two weeks. Also 50 plastic sheets were released to Thur Garib primary school for protection in the rainy season.