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Because of the war.. Suffering to get water in the outskirts of Khartoum


Since the outbreak of the fighting in Sudan, the residents of the city of Bahri, north of Khartoum, have been suffering from water shortages, so they resort to filling vessels from the Nile despite the danger of movement, or try to open wells, or simply refrain from washing clothes to save water.

The Nile Water Treatment Plant, which supplies water to the city of Bahri, north of the Sudanese capital, has stopped since the start of the conflict on April 15 between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, as a result of the bombing and power outages. Since then, the taps have run dry in the homes of 300,000 people.

“Forty days without water services. At the beginning of the war, we used to take water from factories in the industrial area, but after the first week and the deployment of the Rapid Support Forces, access to the wells became impossible and the choice became Nile”.

In light of the exchange of fire and aerial bombardment, it is difficult for the residents to leave their homes to fetch water, but they seize any opportunity of calm, even relative, to go to the bank of the Nile and fill different containers with water, while the temperature exceeds forty degrees.

The conflict resulted in hundreds of deaths and the displacement of more than a million people, and about 320,000 people sought refuge in neighboring countries, according to United Nations figures.

Water distribution truck

Adel Al-Hassan volunteers with a number of his neighbors from time to time to fill a truck with water containers, then they return to distribute it to families residing north of Khartoum.

The Sudanese water shortage prompted Rashid Hussein to leave the capital, heading to the city of Madani, which is approximately 200 km south of Khartoum. “Despite the bombing and clashes, had it not been for the lack of water, we would not have left our homes,” he told AFP.

Diseases related to water, hygiene and sanitation are among the main causes of death for children under the age of five, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). According to the data of the United Nations organization, 17.3 million people lacked basic drinking water supplies in Sudan, even before this war.

For his part, Salah Muhammad found a way to get water from a hospital near his house, so he did not leave the capital, and he told AFP: “Until last week, we were getting water from a well inside Ahmed Qassem Hospital, which is treated water.”

However, the Rapid Support Forces have been deployed around the hospital since the beginning of the week, so residents can no longer approach it. For her part, Rashida al-Tijani says that she was able to reach a well in a hospital north of Khartoum: “We are waiting for the shooting to stop and rushing towards a marine hospital to carry water for essentials only. Since the war began, we have not washed our clothes.”

buried without washing

Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world, suffers from dilapidated infrastructure due to two decades of blockade and sanctions under former President Omar al-Bashir. Public services have always been ineffective, but since the war began, the public sector has been paralyzed.

The employees stopped working and Khartoum state granted them leave “until further notice”. On the other hand, the rival forces make a number of hospitals, factories, and public buildings their barracks.

The resistance committees, which are informal groups that emerged during the popular protests that ousted al-Bashir from power in 2019, are trying to act as disruptive facilities. Its members set up field hospitals, food distribution stations and a network of trucks to deliver water to homes.

“Since the beginning of the war, we have been providing the residents with water,” says Ahmed (a pseudonym), a member of the resistance committees, noting that they first got water from the industrial area, then they had to drive further to northern neighborhoods. During one of these trips, a friend of his was killed by a “bullet”, and Ahmed says: “We had to bury him without being able to wash the body.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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