Displaced persons at six camps in Sirba locality of West Darfur are experiencing a severe water crisis as a result the breakdown of water pumps. This situation has existed for three months, but high temperatures have caused a sharp deterioration over the past few days.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the Kendebe camp’s residents have to fetch drinking water from valleys which are between 3km and 5km away. The witness points out that women who collect water are often vulnerable to being raped by militias.
They said the local administrators asked the displaced to pay SDG 50,000 ($11,300) to resolve the problem, which was caused when NGOs were “expelled from the area”. An activist has appealed to government and humanitarian agencies and organizations to contribute to the payment in order to expedite a solution to the problem.
Earlier this year, sources informed Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese government halted the work of half of the NGOs working at the ten camps around El Geneina on 1 January, transferring them to voluntary return villages and to the capital. Residents of the camps were said to be suffering due to a severe shortage of drinking water and deteriorating medical services, stating that the “government did not succeed in filling the vacuum that was created when the NGOs left”.
Recently displaced persons living in four Marshang camps, South Darfur, have repeatedly complained about the scarcity of drinking water at the site. Although authorities investigated the technical problems, “they never returned to repair the machines”, a source said.