International Cooperation and Development

Sudan: Water is strengthening the brickmaking business and creating jobs in Gedaref state

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Gala’ Alnahal locality in Gedaref State, Sudan, has a population of around 120,500 people. The residents in the area depend on agriculture as their main source of income but water availability can be a challenge, especially in the summer. In order to tackle this and create new streams of income for the local population, a water yard was built to replace the previously hand dug well. This water yard enabled the local population to access drinking water but also to support livestock and commercial brick making. 

With limited groundwater available in this area, another way to improve access was through the construction of a hafir, an artificially water catchment basin. After the hafir is filled with rainwater, it can be used to benefit people and livestock. 

The surrounding area of the hafir now also hosts a number of families who depend on brick-making businesses, an undertaking that is essentially based on water availability. 

Women and children in Gedaref

Before the intervention of the Aqua4Sudan Partnership, there were only 37 brickmaking businesses in this area. Each business needed at least 4 barrels per day delivered by donkey carts.

After the construction of the hafir, the number of brick-makers has increased by 46% to 69 businesses, primarily as a result of the increased availability of water and consequent reduction in cost. Prices for a donkey cart of water have now dropped 57% in the summer and 40% in other seasons.

Creating new streams of income for the people of Gala’ Alnahal is only one of the benefits of the hafir’s construction. It is expected that agriculture activities and livestock breeding will witness considerable growth, benefitting the economy overall. The hafir will also attract people from other localities, including pastoralists. 

To compensate for trees that are used in the process of brickmaking, and to reduce its environmental impact, local businesses will plant trees in the upstream of Gala’Alnahal hafir. 

With €8 million funding from the EU, the Aqua4Sudan partnership is leading the ‘Integrated Improvement of Household Food Security in Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea States, Sudan’ project. This project is part of the larger Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) programme. The Aqua4Sudan partnership is led by ZOA and consists of 7 (I)NGOs. ZOA has built 16 hafirs in Gedaref under the Aqua4Sudan programme.