Sudan. Water supplies for Abu's family: COOPI life-saving intervention
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13-05-2024 | di COOPI

Sudan. Water supplies for Abu's family: COOPI life-saving intervention

Abu Al-Qasim Ahmed Abkar Hassan, from Tawilla locality, in North Darfur State, Sudan, was forced to flee from his home with his wife and 6 children due to the war outbreak, and to walk 61 km to reach a displaced camp in El Fasher, struggling to obtain water and food. Then, he met COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale, which, as the leader of the consortium with GOAL and the United Peace Organization (UPO), was distributing water and non-food items to the displaced population residing in Tombasi Girls Primary School in the southern area of El Fasher, in the framework of the OCHA-funded project
Multi-sectoral Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Gender-Based Violence, Health and Nutrition response targeting vulnerable communities in Saraf Omra, AS Serief and At Tina in North Darfur”.

The project, started in September 2022 and ended in December 2023, aimed at increasing the capacities of internally displaced peoples, returnee and resident populations to meet household needs. In particular, COOPI contributed to provide timely multi-sectoral life-saving assistance to crisis affected people to reduce mortality and morbidity, including by distributing non-food items kits composed of jerricans, sleeping mats, blankets, plastic sheets, cooking sets, mosquito nets and solar lamps to 3 camps for internally displaced peoples - Al Salam, Zam Zam, and Abu Shouk - and 4 schools in El Fasher - Tombasi Girls Primary School, Aljanoubia Girls Secondary School, Ibn seina Boys’ Primary School, Um Elgura School.

Abu Al-Qasim is precisely among those beneficiaries for which the project was a real life-saver. Before COOPI arrived to Tombasi school serving water supply, war circumstances had become severely tough on him and his family:

My family and I left Tawilla in mid-June 2023 together with other families, and walked 61 km; after two days of suffering on the road, we arrived in El Fasher, where we found many people displaced in Tombasi school, and decided to stay”

As Abu Al-Qasim told us, due to the absence of a water source near the school and to the expensive nature of water coming from the tanker, water and food scarcity was pushing the lives of the displaced population to their limits:

For various months, we faced severe suffering in obtaining drinking water and food: water was distributed, but irregularly, and it was insufficient. My family had to buy it from the donkey carts, but it was very expensive and not enough: we were consuming only one 20 liter-jerrycan per day as a family. When we ran out of money, we stopped bathing and washing our clothes”

Thanks to the funds of OCHA, COOPI was able to distribute, among other things, non-food items including jerrycans and water cups:

Since the beginning of December 2023, COOPI provided us with 50 water barrels a day for more than two months: we could have enough for drinking, bathing and washing clothes for adults and children”

Abu Al-Qasim is deeply grateful for the valuable work carried out by COOPI, and keeps thanking all the humanitarian operators he meets, wishing this war which has taken everything away from him would end one day:

Praise be to God, on behalf of my family and the displaced people who live with us, for the valuable and humanitarian work that COOPI provided towards the displaced and those fleeing the scourge of war and conflict by providing water and non-food items to us. My only hope is I can return home safely soon”

COOPI has been present in Sudan and in North Darfur since 2004, where it implements development and humanitarian assistance interventions and supports the most vulnerable groups, afflicted by conflicts and hazards, including refugees, displaced persons and host communities. COOPI activated a rapid emergency response providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced mainly through water, sanitation and hygiene interventions and non-food items activities: it distributes drinking water and basic necessities such as blankets, small cooking utensils, water containers, plastic sheeting and ropes, setting up temporary shelters while waiting for sites for those displaced.