Sudan: WASH skills app-lied in the field

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RedR’s team in Sudan has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement Water Quality and Water Safety Plan training in Darfur, where some three million people are in need of humanitarian assistance*.

By the end of September, we will have trained 240 government employees based in all five states of Darfur, all of whom are working at field level to improve access to safe drinking water and combat water-related diseases.

“There has been a really enthusiastic response to the training,” says Country Director Diana Gee-Silverman. “We often hear of participants keeping in touch with each other after a course has finished - but in this case, trainees in Central and West Darfur have gone one step further, setting up a WhatsApp group where they share advice and successes with each other and with RedR trainers.”

240 public health employees

in Darfur will benefit from RedR's training

Read more about our work

WhatsApp: Communications tool of choice

Although exact figures on the use of WhatsApp in Sudan are unavailable, the app’s popularity has soared. It is now the communications tool of choice for many people in the country, especially those living and working in remote locations with intermittent internet access.

“The idea came from the participants themselves,” says RedR’s WASH Coordinator Abdel Rahim Gamaleldin. “They decided to create a WhatsApp group to exchange their ideas and experiences, with a specific focus on on-the-ground activities related to environmental health, such as water quality surveillance, chlorination, vector control, sanitation campaigns and hygiene promotion sessions. They have also been sharing the challenges they face, and asking questions to the other group members and the RedR trainers. If there are any issues raised by a member of the group, he or she gets a quick response from other members. Also, if there is a critical question, RedR trainers always reply.”

The most important thing when someone shares his or her work in the group, is that others are appreciating his work - and this encourages other members.

Adam Khamis

working with the Ministry of Health in Central Darfur State

Beyond the classroom

Adbel Rahim continues, “Sudan is currently experiencing an outbreak of Acute Water Diarrhoea (AWD), and this helps us to raise awareness of the importance of Water Safety Planning and Water Quality among the communities and politicians - and get their support.”

“This is a great illustration of the impact of RedR’s training extending beyond the classroom,” observes Diana Gee-Silverman. “And it’s just one example of the hard work being done by dedicated public health employees throughout the country to improve water quality and prevent the spread of AWD, as well as in vector control.”

This project is supported by the Sudanese Ministry of Health and the Qatar Fund for Development.

*According to the 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview.

RedR's Water Quality and Water Safety Plan training
RedR's Water Quality and Water Safety Plan training