Hundreds mark World Water Day in North Darfur

Photo by Amin Ismail, UNAMID.

23 Mar 2017

Hundreds mark World Water Day in North Darfur

EL FASHER – Hundreds of people gathered in El Fasher, North Darfur to mark World Water Day at a UNAMID-supported event held at Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Participants at the 22 March event included the Minister of Culture and Environment, North Darfur, Hamza Abass Khalil, government officials, community leaders, Sheikhs, Omdas (tribal leaders), women and youth groups, along with UNAMID staff.

World Water Day – which is marked around the globe on 22 March every year – is about taking action on water. This year’s theme – “Why waste water?” – highlighted the importance of improving water quality and reducing, treating and reusing wastewater.

Mr. Khalil said at the El Fasher event that his Ministry was ready to work closely with UNAMID to improve the environment in North Darfur.

“Cooperation between the Government, UNAMID and the citizens is essential for the protection of water and the environment”, said Mr. Khalil.

Yahiya Mohamed, Chief of Omdas at Abu Shouk, commended UNAMID for organizing the activity. He urged the government and international organizations to continue their support for IDPs, particularly in the rehabilitation of water points at the camp. 

Nafisa Mohamed, representing women at the camp, called on all women at Abu Shouk to actively participate in activities aimed at protecting water sources and improving the camp environment.

Hassan Gibril, UNAMID’s Head of Office for Sector North, who was representing the Mission’s Acting Joint Special Representative at the event, said that lack of adequate access to water for all is one of the main non-political drivers of the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

Mr. Gibril highlighted measures taken by the Mission to facilitate the harvesting of rainwater and ensure wastewater treatment was carried out to the level recommended by the World Health Organization.

“This treated wastewater is used as a substitute for fresh water to meet the non-potable water demands of the Mission`s personnel, such as toilet flushing, tree planting, car washing, construction work, dust control and firefighting,” said Mr. Gibril.

Activities during the event included a cleaning exercise by UNAMID peacekeepers and the local community, hygiene promotion and distribution of cleaning materials. A quiz highlighted issues related to the protection of water and the environment, along with UNAMID’s mandate. Darfuri musician, Halima Sassa, entertained the audience through drama and songs of peace. 

The El Fasher event was organized jointly by UNAMID`s Communications and Public Information Section, the Water and Environment Protection Unit and the Environment Office in the Office of the Director Mission Support.

UNAMID, through its dedicated Water and Environmental protection section, continues to evaluate and monitor its environmental practices to ensure that both its staff and the Darfuri people benefit from good practices designed to ensure development and economic growth in Darfur.