By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
Khartoum, Sudan (sudanow.info.sd) - A 2-Day conference devoted to nomads in Darfur has reflected the concern of nomad women who complained about lack of development projects in the education, health care, vocational training and mostly raising general awareness about the lives of Darfur’s nomads.
“When the conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, it not only destroyed property and displaced thousands of civilians but it also disrupted the means of livelihood for nomads,” Amina Omer Alhaj, a Darfur nomadic woman, told a conference dedicated to Darfur’s nomads in Al Fasher, Sudan, a UNAMID statement issued in Al Fashir and received by PANA in Khartoum said Tuesday.
The statement has however pinpointed that in the past decade, several UN organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such OXFAM have started projects to assist nomads. Nomadic women have been trained in a variety of income-generating activities to support their families, adding that “Yet Darfur’s nomads continue to suffer from lack of basic services, such as education, medical care, jobs training and access to water. “
During the two-day workshop (25-26 September) at Al Fasher University sponsored by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, representatives of nomad groups such as the North Darfur Nomads Peace and Development Network asked for such projects to continue to enable them to stand on their feet and support themselves and their families again as they had before the conflict.
The United Nations African union Mission in Darfur UNAMID has pointed out that women nomadic leaders highlighted the challenges they are facing in their communities and presented some fundamental proposals that they would like to be funded.
“They emphasized the need for development projects in the education, health care, vocational training and mostly raising general awareness about the lives of Darfur’s nomads, who they say may number one million people.” It said.
The statement pointed out that the workshop has noted that Sudan introduced primary schools for nomads in recent years, but still many children were left children without opportunities for higher education.
“Before then, nomadic girls were not even allowed to be educated, due to early marriages and other traditional practices. “Out of 200,000 girls, only 1,000 were allowed to go to school,” Zahra Eissa, a nomadic woman, was quoted as stressing during the workshop.
The workshop aimed to bring together the nomads and aid agencies working in Darfur. It gave the nomad representatives an opportunity to raise their concerns and needs and to open a new page in the cooperation between them and humanitarian organizations, as well as with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
During the workshop, UNAMID also presented an overview of its quick impact projects dedicated to nomads and explained the process required to receive funding. In this context Mr. Oriano Micaletti, Acting Head of UNAMID’s Humanitarian Protection Strategy, urged the nomad representatives to prioritize their needs and submit their proposals for review.
In a similar workshop held in Nyala this year, UNAMID committed $100,000 in projects to Nomadic communities in South Darfur, and will dedicate the same amount to initiatives for North Darfur.
“The forum provided a great opportunity to the North Darfurian nomads, as it is the first time that the group was able to meet and discuss their needs and requirements at an international level,” Ibrahim Mohamed, a nomad Network member, was quoted as saying.
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