Sudan: Working with the WHO to improve water quality

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An estimated 3.5 million people in Sudan are in need of some form of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.

Country Director Diana Gee-Silverman explains how RedR is building WASH capacity through a new partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), supported by the Ministry of Health and the Qatar Fund for Development.

RedR has a long history of delivering WASH programmes, in Sudan and around the world. This project draws directly on that experience: RedR will review and adapt the WHO's existing training materials on water testing and water safety plans, ensuring that they're tailored to the local context. We'll also deliver 16 training courses (in Khartoum and Darfur) to 240 government employees - all of whom are working directly on these issues, at field level.

This comprehensive approach aims to equip participants with the ability to identify, manage and mitigate risks. This in turn will have a positive impact on water supply services for families and communities across Sudan.

In February, we ran a seven-day, RedR-designed course on 'Water Quality and Water Safety Plans' for twenty government employees in Khartoum. Through a mixture of hands-on sessions, site visits, case studies, group work, role-plays and presentations, participants learnt about biological and physical water testing. They learnt how to identify optimum doses for water treatment, and develop a water safety plan for a community water supply. During a field visit to a peri-urban water supply, they practised identifying and testing various water sources, and carried out a water safety planning exercise.

Throughout, they were encouraged to consider how the Sphere standards can be used to ensure the needs of water users are met - especially those of marginalised groups.

I will be able to describe the whole water supply [system] in order to make a Water Safety Plan. I will be able to identify risks and hazards, [and] I will be able to use household water treatment techniques in an emergency.

Zeinab MandAhmed Abdelgadir

Course participant representing DWSU/WES

Feedback was extremely positive,

with 100% of participants rating both the relevance of the course, and their improvement in knowledge and skills, as 'good' or 'excellent'.

Together with the rest of our WASH work in Sudan, this project seeks to build capacity at national, state and locality level, helping to improve access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities across the country.

Left: RedR trainer Eric Fewster takes a sample to be tested from a water seller's donkey cart

A version of this article appeared in the Spring / Summer 2017 edition of our supporter magazine, Red Alert. You can read it here.

Feedback was extremely positive,