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IOM Provides Water to Nomads in Sudan's Disputed Abyei, Contributes to Conflict Prevention

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
IOM Provides Water to Nomads in Sudan's Disputed Abyei, Contributes to Conflict Prevention
IOM Provides Water to Nomads in Sudan's Disputed Abyei, Contributes to Conflict Prevention
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GENEVA, Switzerland, June 5, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM has rehabilitated four water yards in North Abyei to provide water for Misseriya nomads and their cattle returning from grazing lands along the Sudan-South Sudan border. The nomadic migration regularly causes conflict with local farmers as limited resources have to be shared.

A sizeable number of Misseriya nomads and their animals have moved back north from pastures in Unity State in South Sudan. The reverse migration started earlier than in previous years as many traditional migration routes across the border into South Sudan have been blocked due to ongoing border tensions.

Nomadic movements add pressure on already limited pastures and water sources in northern parts of Abyei. This significantly increases the potential for conflict over natural resources with resident famers and encourages hostile acts such as cattle raids.

With logistical support and with protection from the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), IOM engineers have installed submersible pumps and rehabilitated four water yards in the villages of Andal, Diffra, Todach and Dingop.

The water yards have the capacity to serve 14,500 people from the resident population and accommodate the needs of an estimated 11,600 nomads and some 200,000 cattle. The rehabilitation of a fifth water yard in Wonrouk is in underway.

IOM will also sign an agreement with UNISFA for the implementation of six Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) to rehabilitate an additional six water yards in North Abyei.

Meanwhile, IOM finalized the construction of four emergency latrine blocks in Rumamier located north of the Bahr el Arab/Kiir River. Following the displacement of thousands from Abiemnom in Unity State who fled previous aerial bombardments in the area, hygiene conditions in Rumamier have deteriorated.

The new latrines will prevent the contamination of the Bahr el Arab/Kiir River adjacent to the site where displaced groups are living. In addition, IOM repaired the generator of the Rumamier water yard, which now provides drinking water for 2,500 people.

Ahead of the rainy season and in view of the potential return of more displaced persons from Agok to Abyei, IOM Sudan is stocking up its humanitarian supplies, including plastic sheets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits in Abyei town.