Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the United Nations Annual Conference of 2009, I really appreciate the time you have given me to explain the importance of my topic, based on my findings. As other guest speakers have stated their conclusions on a current global issue, I would like to expand on this and make clear how precious the World’s water really is.
Does anyone know where this location is? This is a small area in Africa called Darfur, which is divided into many villages in Sudan. Even though many people are dying because of the conflict that is occurring in Sudan; the reason that most of the 3600 people are dying everyday is because they don’t have access to clean drinkable water. Here in Darfur every drop of rain water is worth its weight in gold.
The rainy season is from July to September, transforming much of the region from dust brown to lush green; as much of Darfur is agricultural, the rain is vital. However Darfur is undergoing a serious water crisis, as the rainfall in Darfur has decreased since the droughts in the 1980s by over a third. These droughts that gripped Sudan in the 1980s forced social changes and immigration have no doubt, played a role in the conflict by increasing competition for water and land, between farmers. However, while different regions and social groups suffer severely, Sudan as a whole has excessive resources to spare, in oil, fertile soil and even water. On the other hand, most of this water is nowhere near Darfur, where there are countless cases of diarrhoea and numerous cases of skin diseases due to the fact that water is insufficient. When there is insufficient water supplies, people tend not to use water to wash their hands after going to the toilet. The people will also wash less frequently; so many diseases are transmitted because of this.
From my findings, I have come to the conclusion that the water shortage is mainly due to the droughts that have passed, and the increasing competition for water and fertile soil between farmers in the region, resulting in migration and other social changes. Consequently, there is a limited supply of water for the rest of the populated areas, which in turn is the main reason for diseases as a result of malnutrition and a lack of a sufficient water supply.
Last year the president of Sudan signed a deal and agreed with the 1000 wells initiative, the plan was to make 1000 wells around the Sudan area, as it is hard to get water with the ongoing war. This idea has been put into action, however another would be to build dams which flows into water storage tanks ready for the wet season, so when the rain falls it will not just drop to the ground, it will be collected in the storage tanks, therefore clean drinkable water will be plentiful.
I have really appreciated the opportunity that you have given me to put forward my proposal on ending the water shortages in not only Darfur but hopefully many other places around the world. Thank you.