29 Mar 2017 Story Disasters & conflicts

Festive atmosphere at Darfur project closing workshop

Sudan – The EU-funded Wadi El Ku Catchment Management project saw the close of its highly successful first phase in a workshop in El Fasher from 14-15 March.

By engaging communities throughout the design and implementation process, this project achieved remarkable feats. It touched people’s lives both through the increasing yields and livelihood opportunities made possible through better water resource management. Perhaps more importantly though, it built trust between communities and ensured that they feel a strong sense of ownership. This lays a strong foundation for managing the resources sustainably well into the future.

The lessons learned from this project will inform further work, both in Darfur and elsewhere. It shows just how much can be achieved, even in a difficult context.

Around 200 people were present - including communities from the villages that have benefited, technical government representatives, ministers, commissioners, legislators, universities and research bodies. Guests from 8 other states in Sudan also attended to learn from the project.

In the end, UN Environment did very little talking and let communities, government and NGO partners get up onto the podium to tell ministers and decision-makers, as well as guests from elsewhere in Sudan, about the journey over the last four years.

They spoke about integrated water resource management, about what’s possible in environmental conservation, and what’s possible in terms of forging positive relationships around natural resources in spite of a difficult working environment. Senior government officials from North Darfur addressed guests from the other states and told the story of the project from start to finish and shared their impressions at the beginning and now.

Ministries from across sectors now showcase the project as a success story and a model for others to replicate. This project symbolizes UN Environment’s work at its best and, through its funding, the great contribution that the European Union can make to people’s lives in Darfur.

Follow UN Environment’s work in Sudan here