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Water System renewed in Al Fashir

31-01-2006 Feature

The torrential rains registered last August in Al-Fashir, northern Darfur resulted in heavy floods that caused extensive damage to houses, properties and to the city infrastructure, including the water supply for its 400'000 inhabitants.

Due to the collapse of the Golo river, just outside of Al-Fashir, which provides more than the 60% of the water required in the capital of Northern Darfur, the local population no longer had proper access to water.

The second source which remained available could provide up to 40% of the town's needs, but it is of very poor quality made up of water collected during the rainy season. Even if it were treated with chlorination its safety could not be guaranteed and the people knew that this could be a health risk.

With two IDP camps in the area, the region's biggest market and Ramadan and Eid celebrations coming up soon after the heavy rains, Al Fashir's need for water was even greater than usual and the State Water Corporation (SWC) came under huge pressure to act.

The SWC thus urgently requested the ICRC's assistance and support to repair the Golo pipeline.

Together with SWC technicians, the ICRC 4-man team assessed the problem and an emergency intervention in two phases was proposed to the SWC. It was decided as a first step to renovate the collapsed pipeline and repair the riverbed of the Golo crossing and, only then, to protect the pipeline from further collapse caused by erosion of the river banks.

The ICRC built two additional piers, reinforced the concrete foundations at the base of the piers to ensure their resistance and installed a stanchion for the pipeline. The work was completed within two weeks despite difficult conditions.

Once the crossing of the riverbed was finished the SWC installed the new pipeline and the water supply to the town wa s restored. The ICRC Water and Habitat team worked intensively to complete the repair before Eyd, the end of Ramadan.

The second phase of the work, which consisted of protecting the riverbed bank from further collapse and installing devices to reduce the erosion started in mid-November 2005 and was completed in January 2006.