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New dam in North Darfur benefits 20 villages

UNEP has together with partners inaugurated a rainwater-spreading dam recently completed in the rural locality around El Fasher, North Darfur.


For the past two years, UNEP has been working towards economic and livelihoods recovery through improved and sustainable natural resources for communities along one of the biggest seasonal rivers in North Darfur as part of the Wadi El Ku Catchment Management project funded by the European Union.


On 12 August 2015, UNEP, Practical Action and partners - together with the head of the Darfur Regional Authority and His Excellency the Deputy Governor of North Darfur - joined to inaugurate the dam, which was built as part of the Wadi El Ku project.


More than 1000 people from the 20 villages who will benefit from the construction attended the celebration, including local leaders, students and women’s groups. They celebrated alongside ministers and officials representing the Government of North Darfur and the Darfur Regional Authority.


The Seil Gideim water-spreading dam is designed to slow the flow of rainwater and spread it over a larger area, bringing water to an estimated 4000 feddans, and aims to demonstrate how relatively simple technologies can respond to community needs for water while safeguarding the environment and livelihoods.


During recent rains, some communities already reported that their lands have benefited from rainwater for the first time in 18 years.


A full environmental and social impact assessment was also undertaken for the dam in order to make sure that any negative social and environmental impacts were identified ahead of construction, and their likelihood reduced.


From the planning and design stages, communities contributed cash and labour to the construction of the Seil Gideim dam, and have organised themselves into a dam management committee representing the different villages, so as to monitor and maintain the structure. This management structure, with government technical support, will ensure maximum benefit from the dam in the long term.


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