SOS Sahel International UK

Conflict Reduction through Improved Water Supply

To help rural communities in Kordofan, Sudan, to rehabilitate their hafirs (rainwater ponds), allowing more rainwater to be stored for use throughout the dry season. From our experience, we have found this not only increases health and provides income-generating opportunities, but it helps to reduce conflict too (particularly between herders and farmers).

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (296311)




  • Disaster ReliefDisaster Relief
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Access to water is the top priority in the drylands of the African Sahel. It determines the survival and existence of rural communities in this harsh and challenging environment. As populations continue to rise and climate change intensifies, water has become scarcer and this heightened competition can fuel conflict. Shared use of water sources between settled cultivators and seasonal nomads will help to develop positive interactions between communities, encouraging commercial exchanges and social linkages, and therefore reducing conflict. This project aims to improve access to water supplies through the rehabilitation of an existing hafir, a traditional water reservoir whose use for water storage is already widespread across Kordofan state. In addition, this project will organise the formation of a water committee in the hafir village and train them in bookkeeping and organisational and revolving fund management. This will enable the villagers to effectively manage their water resource in a sustainable way and without the need for further external support. The project is a response to the basic needs of the community as defined by its members, and is therefore driven internally by the community itself Projected outcomes are: · At least a 25% increase in water holding capacity of the hafir. · At least an 80% success rate in establishing an eligible and competent local water committee. · A reduction in conflicts around water sources, as water becomes more readily available and is shared equally. · A sufficient and sustainable income from the hafir for each dry season in order to cover the costs of future repairs, maintenance and running costs. · A significant improvement in the lives of rural women through easier access to a reliable water source, thus reducing labour and freeing up time to be spent on other activities. · A reduction in the increasing rates of seasonal migration towards towns, thus assisting rural development. Budget: Field Activites (eg. cleaning and maintenance of hafir, training of water committees): £15,500 Support Costs (eg. personnel and vehicle running costs): £4,000 Administration (10%): £2,000 TOTAL: £21,500