Fighting around the Golo water reservoir jeopardizes main water source for over 130,000 children

Statement by Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the escalation of violence in El Fasher, North Darfur

31 May 2024
 Sudan. A child stands beside containers of water collected from a water point in Otash camp in South Darfur.
FILE PHOTO: On 6 October 2022 in Nyala, South Darfur, Sudan, a child stands beside containers of water collected from a water point in Otash camp.

AMMAN, 31 May 2024 – “The deteriorating security situation and the intense conflict in and around El Fasher, Darfur, have led to a significantly growing displacement of the civilian population from the area. The scarcity of safe drinking water and healthcare poses a particularly grave threat to the displaced, sick, injured, and children.

“Basic services, such as water and healthcare, are at risk of being disrupted. The conflict over the Golo water reservoir - which serves as one of the primary water sources for an estimated 270,000 people in the city and nearby communities - is putting it at high risk of being damaged or destroyed. This will lead to families and children being cut off from safe and adequate water and increase the risk of waterborne diseases in a region already torn by war. Children suffering from acute malnutrition and weakened immune systems will be particularly in danger.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and end all attacks on or close to critical civilian infrastructure, including water systems and facilities, hospitals, health centres and schools. To ensure sustained water supply services, utility staff must also have unrestricted and safe access to water sources including the Golo water reservoir.

“Water is essential for survival and cannot be denied.” 


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