According to the UNHCR, almost 20% of the Sudanese population - around 6.9 million people - are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Despite this, the amount of funding available for humanitarian aid in the country continues to fall, and this chronic crisis receives little attention from the international media.
In December 2015, RedR secured further funding for our water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in Sudan. One project will be funded by UNICEF, and another co-funded by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission (JOAC) and the Vitol Foundation, which has been supporting our work in Sudan since 2014. This support will enable us to continue the vital work we began in 2010, building the capacity of local people to respond to WASH needs in some of the worst-affected parts of the country.
Project one: Implementing a country-wide capacity-building framework
"In 2014, RedR responded to a request from UNICEF to conduct a country-wide assessment of humanitarian WASH capacity. The results were used to draw up a capacity-building framework for the next three years," explains Project Coordinator Abdel-Rahim. "This next phase of the project will focus on the practical application of the framework, and will see RedR deliver training and mentoring to humanitarian actors implementing WASH programmes across the country."
Throughout, there will be a close focus on coordination. "The use of a range of different designs, standards and guidelines by the various WASH actors working in Sudan has been identified as one of the main obstacles to progress in the sector," continues Abdel-Rahim. "The project will therefore focus on improving coordination and seek to unify approaches to water and sanitation provision across the country, via a series of workshops and technical working groups."
Project two: Building the capacity of communities and local NGOs
Through practical training, RedR will also work to build the capacity of local communities and humanitarian organisations to respond to WASH needs in four states which are at the epicentre of the crisis: White Nile, Kassala, and North and South Darfur. National-level workshops will also take place in the capital, Khartoum.
"We will train local first responders in technical water skills and basic sanitation and hygiene skills," explains Project Coordinator El Miqdam. "As part of this, we’ll be training ten newly-recruited Sudanese trainers, equipping facilitators with the soft skills they need to effectively run a training session on WASH topics." The ultimate aim is to ensure that local humanitarians can continue building WASH capacity in Sudan beyond the lifespan of the project.
"We will also conduct practical demonstrations on improved sanitation and hygiene practices for community members (with a special focus on women and girls), ensuring that the project reaches as many people as possible," continues El Miqdam.
"At the same time, we’ll be working with national NGOs and agencies to help strengthen overall WASH sector coordination in Sudan.
This combination of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills is the only sure-fire way of stopping the spread of water-related diseases," explains El Miqdam.
(Statistic cited in first line: UNHCR
Hear from our trainees
"The best aspect in this training was water safety. As a result, I will be able to plan and analyse the risks related to water safety. The training was also very useful to me in terms of increasing my skills in WASH coordination, and I will be able to work more closely with communities during future emergencies." - Salma Mohammed, participant in WASH training in Nyala.
"The workshop was an opportunity for me to increase my understanding of WASH in an appropriate way, and now I will be able to do latrine modification and consider disabled and pregnant women and children in latrine design. I can now also easily undertake a risk assessment of water safety." - Tagwa Osman, Friends of Peace and Development Organisation, participant in WASH training in Kassala.
Photo: Handwashing in Tawila, North Darfur, Sudan. Image by Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID. Source: Flickr