Add me to the UNEP
Sudan mailing list
A Senior Water Resource consultant with UNEP, Dr Hamid Omer Ali has over 30 years experience in Sudan's water sector
In September 2010, the Groundwater and Wadis Department (GWWD) took over the role of
disseminating information on water resource vulnerability in camps for Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) as part of the department’s growing role in the humanitarian
and recovery programmes in Darfur.
This work focuses on the 23 locations that are vulnerable to groundwater depletion
listed in UNEP’s report. Many of these are in or around the major cities of Darfur,
so the risk should be seen as relevant to the cities as a whole.
The current situation is serious. For example, the groundwater level dropped by
seven metres at Dereig camp and it now relies on water brought in from elsewhere.
Abu Shouk camp and Zamzam camps have experienced 7-10 metre groundwater depletion
and could run dry.
Water provision in camps needs to be brought within the limits that the aquifers
produce. As populations in and around cities are unlikely to decrease in the near
future, water needs will remain high. The most significant risk is one or more
years of low rainfall which would mean that the aquifers in the water-stressed
camps or urban areas are not recharged – and so could fail catastrophically.
Places such as Nyala already undergo severe water shortages at the end of the dry season.
Camp water resource fact sheets are being used by UN agencies and non-governmental
organizations in three IDP camps in North Darfur, to help guide the provision of
sustainable water to the camps.