EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, February 15, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With the slaying of goats, the people of Kuma Garadyat today expressed their commitment to work with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur on nine projects intended to trigger the restoration of normality to a string of 12 villages in North Darfur which four years ago were devastated by conflict.
The deputy chief of UNAMID, Aichatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, made her second visit to the area in a month, to affirm her commitment to the projects which she launched by pounding grain and doweling a concrete slab for a future school.
“When I was young I used these as well,” the former Foreign Minister of Niger told a delighted audience of nearly 1000 villagers after a performance of strenuous labour by a group of women slinging hoes and pounding grain. “I know how hard it is for women to work like this. This project will bring happiness to the population.”
The projects include two schools, a health clinic, a women’s centre and youth centre. UNAMID is launching a new round of quick impact projects (QIPS) around Darfur which are meant to motivate and assist communities to recover. With a QIP, UNAMID gives up to $25,000 per project and the local community is intended to share in the labour, implementation and sustainability. In the case of Kuma Garadyat, the villagers will provide 36,000 bricks and manual labour, while UNAMID will provide cement and tools, as well as the overall support of the UNAMID Senegalese engineering company and Rwandan troops.
The Deputy Joint Special Representative (JSRP) said she had also been lobbying for the villages and as a result, an NGO will begin midwife training in May. A microcredit project will be started at the new women’s centre in the near future, she announced.
Many of Kuma Garadayat’s 3,000 mostly Tunjur tribal residents were displaced in 2008 when clashes took place between the factions of the Sudanese Liberation Army/Minni Minawi and the Sudan Army Forces. The SLA later splintered and a new faction called “Free Will” claimed control of the area and agreed to a truce with the Government in 2009. Most residents have returned.
UNAMID early last year gave the villages more than 300 rolling water containers, some of which were visibly in use at a water point during the DJSR’s visit.
United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)