Bringing Solar Power to the People of Darfur

By |26 May 2010|

As climate change is heatedly debated by world leaders, communities in Darfur are finding sustainable solutions to water shortages in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) Camps. The rainy season in South Darfur typically lasts five or six months of the year. For the remainder, the land is dry, arid and desolate. With the length of the rainy season becoming increasingly unpredictable in Darfur, water has become a precious commodity. While the climate change debate is on the collective brows of our world leaders, innovative adaptive measures are being taken in Darfur to secure sustainable water sources amidst the continuing drought. Osman, the Project Coordinator of a Caritas supported Water and Sanitation Team (WATSAN) said, “Kubum Solar Water Project was initiated by the growing need for sustainable sources of water for IDP Communities in Darfur. This is the first successful example of an aid agency using a solar powered solution for the benefit [...]

Working Together to Save Lives in Darfur

By |22 December 2009|

Christian Churches from all over the world are working together to save the lives of people affected by conflict in Darfur. A joint programme involving ACT (Action by Churches Together), a global alliance of churches and related agencies working in the field of humanitarian relief, and Caritas Internationalis has been providing essential life-saving services such as clean water, food and health care to 300,000 people living in camps, and surrounding villages, in South and West Darfur. Nyika Musiyazwiriyo, the outgoing Head of Programmes for the Joint ACT/Caritas Programme in Darfur, says being able to work together has meant the ACT/Caritas Programme has become one of the biggest players among UN and other humanitarian actors in the conflict-affected region of Sudan. “One of our key strengths is being able to draw on each others’ experiences, knowledge, and resources” Nyika explains. As such, the Programme has been able to provide clean drinking water to nearly [...]

Children in Darfur receiving clean water

By |2 December 2009|

Eleven-year old Fatima lives with her family in Khamsadageig IDP camp in Darfur. It is home to 19,000 people. Established in 2005, it is one of the oldest camps in Darfur. Caritas supports programmes that provide water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion campaigns in the camp. As the eldest of five siblings, she must help her mother fetch the family’s water every day. Together they collect at least 80 litres of water for cooking, washing and other daily needs. As in many conflicts, the Darfur crisis has affected children in such a profound way. Harrowing stories of loss, deprivation and abuse are common, especially among women and girls. Caritas is working towards reducing the burden children have to face as a result of the humanitarian crisis. One of the success stories is the water, sanitation and hygiene promotion initiative. Caritas partners in Darfur, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), provide water to over 130,000 people [...]

Imagine compassion in a crisis: More than bread alone

By |2 December 2009|

The crisis in Darfur worsened, with 290,000 people fleeing their homes during the first nine months of 2008. Many people fled to Chad and the Central African Republic. Caritas is part of one of the biggest programmes in south and west Darfur, helping 250,000 people. Caritas covers basic needs, including access to clean water, sanitary facilities and healthcare, and help to people to grow food. The rate of trauma is very high. Katherine Gicuku Ireri, is a field coordinator in the town of Nyala. We asked her about her work in the Peacebuilding, Protection and Psychosocial programme. What are the main aims of the Peacebuilding, Protection and Psychosocial (PPP) sector in the Caritas programme? K: To take care of the complete needs of the people, including psychological, protection and peaceful coexistence needs. A lesson learnt from recent emergencies including Kosovo and Rwanda is the importance of taking care of the wide ranging needs, which [...]

‘Darfur must not become a forgotten emergency’

By |16 November 2009|

Darfur is in danger of becoming a forgotten emergency, according to Nyika Musiyazwiriyo, the outgoing Head of Programmes for the joint ACT/Caritas Darfur Programme. “Darfur is slipping from our minds,” explains Nyika. “Funding for humanitarian work in the region has decreased substantially since the conflict first came to international attention. And Darfur is no longer a staple segment of our daily news shows.” Yet, the problems remain. “The needs of the people are just the same”, says the Zimbabwean. “Many thousands of people in Darfur still need support each day to access basic and vital things like clean water, food, and health care.” Nyika, has worked for the ACT/Caritas Darfur Programme since 2007. By then, the original conflict between the central government in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and the rebel movements in Darfur had evolved into a much more complex conflict involving cross-border dynamics and political posturing with neighbouring Chad, inter-tribal violence, and increased banditry. The [...]

Darfur operations set to increase

By |2 September 2009|

A quarter million people are assisted everyday to survive and find a better life in Darfur thanks to the support Caritas members receive around the world. That support is being expanded to include activities in camps were other international aid agencies have been asked to leave. Caritas Internationalis works in Darfur with ACT International, an alliance of Protestant and Orthodox churches and related agencies. As one of the largest operations, the ACT-Caritas programmes are lead by Norwegian Church Aid, in cooperation with two national organizations. And while 16 national and international aid organizations have been recently expelled or closed by Sudanese authorities, Caritas emergency operations continue. Mike Noyes, from Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD) said, “We work from day-to-day and keep the programs on track. NCA has a close and active contact with the authorities to identify the needs and provide the services required. We assist 250,000 people every day.” Mr Noyes sees no [...]

ACT/Caritas prepare for the coming rains

By |3 November 2008|

By Emad Eldin Ali, with contribution from Catherine Dennis Life in Darfur can be harsh at the best of times, but during the rainy season it can be particularly challenging. Many families who have lost their homes because of the conflict are now living in makeshift mud huts and straw shelters. Ensuring people have shelter, medicine and reserve food is also a challenge for the staff of ACT/Caritas. The June to September rainy season can make road transport difficult, so it’s important to prepare things well in advance. In Mershing, South Darfur, staff have already delivered essential household items to hundreds of internally displaced families living in camps. In Teigy camp, a large group of mostly women and children gather at sunrise at their community centre to receive items delivered by ACT/Caritas. "I am happy because the household things from last time are now damaged", said Fatima, who has been living in Teigy camp [...]

Support Caritas