Although "Water" could come under the above section on "Environment", the special position of water in the lives of nomads warrants the particular attention in the strategic work plan.
Nomads & Water
Safe drinking water is a basic necessity for good health. Unsafe drinking is known to be a significant carrier of disease such trachoma, cholera, typhoid, guinea and schistosesomiasis. In addition access to water is particularly important for nomadic women and children, who usually carry the water, often for long distances. In north Sudan 60% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water (79% in urban areas & 47% in rural areas).
“Only 21% of the population of West Darfur gets its water from an improved water source, the lowest percentage in Sudan" (MICS, 2000).
Water & Peace
There is also a strong correlation between water availability and resource conflict. During periods of drought and water scarcity there is a noticeable increase in conflict resulting from competition over access to remaining water resources:
Al Massar has the following objectives regarding water:
- To identify and understand the current water problems affecting nomadic communities.
- Sustainable management of water resources.
- Improvement of the provision and quality of water to nomads.
- Participation of nomads in the establishment of new water sources.
- Water efficiency.
- Equitable access to water.
- Habitat conservation.
- Established 10 water stations (Doankeys) at nomads pathways.
- Rehabilitation & Maintenance of 10 water tanks to serve nomads community.
- Network water connection to Um- Alqura in West Darfur State.
- Fixed and maintained more than 78 manual water pumps.
- Organized and held vocational training for employees of Water Cooperation.
- Trained the nomad’s youth to manage and maintain the water pumps.
- Organized awareness campaigns to manage and use water properly.
- Trained 250 persons in water management and establish the concept of “Water for Peace” in Eastern Darfur State.
- Organized and held workshops to raise the standard of environmental awareness and conservation accompanied by practical application.