2001 SUD: The ECHO/UNICEF Drought Emergency Response Project - Kordofan Region
The Project is one of UNICEF's drought emergency response interventions fully funded by ECHO. The Project duration was 6 months, from April to September 2001, but was later extended by 1.5 months to 15th November 2001. The specific objective of the project is to increase access to safe drinking water supply for approximately 195,000 persons and several livestock units in the selected drought-affected communities of North, West and South Kordofan states.
Purpose / Objective
The purpose of this assessment/evaluation is to undertake an in-depth quantitative/qualitative assessment of the ECHO-funded UNICEF Drought Emergency Response -- Kordofan Region starting from project preparation (Feb. 2001) up to project completion (mid-Nov. 2001).
The consultant had discussions with the project key actors at Khartoum and Kordofan levels including ECHO, UNICEF, National Water Corporation, State Water Corporation, CARE and Project staff. Focus group discussions were held with the users and community leaders at Village and State levels, and observations were made in the 3 states that comprise the Kordofan Region.
Key Findings and Conclusions
The decision by the senior management of UNICEF to allow local procurement of some materials and equipment, which were critical to the implementation of the Project, was timely and assisted greatly in accelerating the pace of its implementation.
It is a fact that were it not for the stocks held by UNICEF and counterparts that were quickly mobilised and delivered to the site, together with the timeliness and flexibility of the procurement process and commitment of both WES and Supplies staff at UNICEF, it would not have been possible to implement this Drought Emergency Response Project in time to mitigate the effects of the drought.
The management of the Project finances and the discipline thereof is commendable. UNICEF has managed to complete the Project within the budget allocation, with only minor re-allocations among a few budget lines and without running into any budget over-run.
In addition to the funds that have been provided by ECHO, the North, South and West State Water Authorities have provided funds to finance the work components that were not included in the ECHO funding, such as fencing work, repair /replacement of elevated storage tanks, construction of concrete benches for human users, etc. It is evident that the State Water Corporations, though willing, lack financial resources to invest in new water facilities or in major rehabilitation of old ones like the water yards, yet this is really necessary in the reduction of drought emergencies.
The general performance regarding the progress of the physical implementation of the project and the timeliness thereof is excellent. There is 100% achievement in almost all the planned activities except in the rehabilitation of the water yards, where there is a balance of two (one in North and the other in South Kordofan) that were still being worked on by the time of the evaluation. The delay in completing these two water yards was caused by the inaccessibility of the site due to the rains, which hampered the smooth implementation of this project. However, the determination and commitment of the implementers ensured overall timeliness of implementation.
The 8% sample of rehabilitated hand pumps and the 30% of the new hand pump installations that were inspected during the field visits were found to be of satisfactory quality in terms of the workmanship and quality of construction materials used. The rehabilitation work of the hand pumps ranged from the replacement of several rising mains to the replacement of minor spare parts.
It is noted with concern that only about 65% of all the hand pump installations in the three states are operational. It is recommended that the WES Projects and the States Water Authorities stop any drilling and installation of new hand pumps and concentrate on the rehabilitation of the old ones, including harvesting of the excess ones that the communities may not be in need of.
The 13 water yard installations visited were of satisfactory construction quality with renovated/newly constructed generator houses, elevated/raised storage tanks, professionally installed generators, and submersible pumps and control panels. The water yards are well fenced with separate places for human and livestock users. For human users, concrete benches/ platforms fitted with several taps have either been provided or are under construction. The submersible pumps and diesel generators used are of world known types, with local dealers to supply spare parts and after-sales service. Again, as in the case of the hand pump installations, 40% of the water yards are not functional and even those that are functional are operating at very low efficiencies.
The ECHO/UNICEF Drought Emergency Response Project has introduced some form of community management, tariff system, capacity building and raised awareness on good hygiene at water points, O&M and management of hand pumps installations. During the field visits, the following were observed in 95% of all the hand pump installations that have either been rehabilitated or newly drilled and equipped:
- had a VHC responsible for the facility
- had tariff system in place, with varying charges for different amounts of water consumed
- had pump mechanics in place
- users were aware of the reason and need to pay for water
- users were aware of hygiene issues at the water point
In the case of water yards that have been rehabilitated under the ECHO/ UNICEF Drought Emergency Response Project, different management models have emerged in the 3 states. In addition to the management issues, the ECHO/UNICEF Project has also raised awareness on hygiene issues in the water yards.
Private sector involvement in the rehabilitation of the hand pumps especially is a new concept that the ECHO/UNICEF Project has brought along, which should be explored further because it ties in with the prevailing problem of availing spares within the vicinity of the villages. Locally, UNICEF should consider piloting private sector involvement in supplying spare parts in the Kordofan Region. This will entail the identification of a private firm that will be supported to develop a system of supplying spare parts to the villages through outlets that are linked to other business concerns in trading centres within the vicinity of the villages. Such support could be in the form of initial stocks that the private firm can pay for gradually as business picks up.
The ECHO/UNICEF Drought Emergency Project has played a key role in reducing the above drought effects in the intervention areas. Where no interventions took place, people remain camped in their areas of migration and continue to put pressure on land and existing water facilities. There is, therefore, urgent need for the Federal Government of the Republic of Sudan and the local and international donor agencies in Sudan to introduce interventions in Kordofan and other drought-prone regions, in the model of the ECHO/UNICEF Drought Emergency Response Project - Kordofan Region.
The training that UNICEF WES has provided to the counterparts over the last 3 years or so paid dividends in this particular project, as the staff trained proved quite knowledgeable in planning, implementing and in carrying out monitoring and evaluation activities of the project. They provide information for preparation of the proposal to ECHO and participated in the preparation of the project budget. There is need to continue on capacity building initiatives of the counterparts not only to cater for regular development programmes' needs but also for emergency situations.
In view of the numerous broken down hand pumps that were observed, the WES Projects and the States Water Authorities should stop any drilling and installation of new hand pumps and concentrate on the rehabilitation of the old ones, including harvesting of the excess ones that the communities may not be in need of.
A considerable percentage of the people of Sudan will continue to depend on hand pumps for their water supply for a long time to come. In view of this, it is, therefore, necessary that the issue of hand pump spare parts supply is addressed not only at the project level but also at the national level. Private entrepreneurs should be identified, encouraged and assisted to import hand pump spare parts, which will be made available to users at sales centres to be established in the local trading centres within the vicinity of the villages.
It is evident that the State Water corporations lack financial resources to invest in either new water facilities or in the major rehabilitation of old ones like the water yards, yet this is really necessary in the reduction of drought emergencies. There is, therefore, urgent need for the Federal Government of the Republic of Sudan and the local and international donor agencies in Sudan to introduce interventions in Kordofan and other drought-prone regions, in the model of the ECHO/UNICEF Drought Emergency Response Project - Kordofan Region.
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