Written: 2021 | Published: March 11, 2021 | Aqua4Sudan

Integrated Water Resource Management and Peace – the case of the Rural Water for Sudan project

This paper documents how the Aqua4Sudan IWRM approach interacts with conflicts. The Aqua4Sudan partnership in Sudan consists of International Aid Services (IAS), Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), Practical Action, Plan Sudan, SOS Sahel, World Relief and ZOA. This partnership implements the Rural Water for Sudan project in Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref, North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur with funding from UKaid and the EU. Because water is scarce in much of Sudan, an Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) approach is needed that balances the different water requirements (for people’s domestic use, livestock, crops, grazing lands and other uses) with the total availability of water within a hydrological unit (a catchment area). By supporting the relevant stakeholders to jointly develop an IWRM plan for their area, conflicts related to water and water infrastructure can be minimised, and resilience to climate change can be enhanced. Infrastructure for water supply and groundwater recharge should preferably be developed based on this IWRM plan.

In Section 2 the paper describes the relevance of conflict sensitive water interventions in Sudan; followed by an overview of the essentials of the IWRM approach and how this has proven to be conflict sensitive (Section 3). However the implementation of IWRM is challenging and Section 4 sets out the preconditions that need to be in place for an IWRM project to be conflict sensitive. Several concrete examples are given in section 5 to illustrate these findings The final Section 6 formulates recommendations for other stakeholders to adopt and fund projects based on a conflict sensitive IWRM approach.

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