Clean water is now a short walk away for 40,000 Sudanese

40,000 people in Mukjar locality, Central Darfur State, comprising of residents, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) and nomads gained access to clean water following the repair of a total of 31 hand pumps that had broken down and been left unused for the past few years. ICRC staff and volunteers of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) who had been trained to carry out these tasks undertook the repairs in Mukjar town, Brindisi and surrounding villages.

One of the people who can now obtain water by using these hand pumps in Mukjar and surrounding areas is Sheikh Mohammed Abdeljabar. Sheikh Abdeljabar was displaced from his home in Zoowa in 2007. He fled to Mukjar to avoid the fighting that was happening at that time. Though he is now relatively safe in this new place of residence, he has found it difficult to cope with the lack of water close to his vicinity.

Sheikh Abdeljabar's situation has been made more challenging because he is a person with a physical disability and he found it impossible to undertake the 4-hour journey to and from the Wadi (a valley) where some water was available. The Sheikh said he often spent up to a week without water.

Sheikh Mohammed Abdeljabar used to undertake a 4-hour journey to find clean water. He now has a water source 50 meters away from his residence. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC 

"My neighbour, he has a donkey and so he was always able to go and fetch water from there. He was always gracious enough to give me one jerry can of water per week," said Abdeljabar.

While his neighbour deserves commendation for this kind gesture, Abdeljabar needs a lot more than this quantity of water to meet his weekly needs.

After an assessment was conducted, the ICRC-SRCS team repaired all the faulty hand pumps that were scheduled for fixing in Mukjar. One of the repaired hand pumps is located 50 meters from Abdeljabar's residence.

"I am glad that the ICRC repaired the hand pump closest to my house," he said with a smile on his face.