KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 18, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Inauguration and hand-over ceremony of public facilities implemented by the “flood response project” funded by the Government of Japan took place on the 15th and 16th of June 2015 in Karari and East Nile Localities in Khartoum State in the presence of the commissioners of the two localities and community leaders. The project was developed as a response to emergency situation resulted from heavy rainfall and flooding in 2013 that led to at least 38 deaths with several people injured in Khartoum state in particular Eastern Nile locality and Karari locality were hardest hit.
The project has achieved the following main results: 1) disseminated Stabilized Soil Block (SSB) as cost-effective and environment-friendly and flood resistance construction technology with three pilot models constructed which include: health center and secondary school in Karari locality, and youth center and primary school in East Nile locality to improve access to durable basic services to vulnerable communities as well as for the purpose of training of youth from the vulnerable communities and demonstration of the practical application of the technology at community level. Community-based organizations have taken-over to scale up the initiative for construction of houses for the flood vulnerable community and more community basic service facilities and as follow up action UN-Habitat is continuing its technical backup ; 2) Flood rapid assessment study conducted which mapped risky and vulnerable areas and defined risk typologies and levels with recommendations for urgent as well as permanent solution, the results were presented and discussed in two consultative workshops held at the two localities ( Karari and East Nile) attended by all stakeholders concerned with flood: accordingly two major box culverts were constructed by the government as well as four culverts constructed by the project protecting more than 15000 families in East Nile and Karari Localities; 3) vulnerable communities trained on flood preparedness and risk reduction and building resilience to disaster. Focal points selected at each neighborhood to coordinate effort at all phases: pre-during- and post disaster, 4) Physical demonstration of constructing low-cost 4 culverts as an example that may be replicated in other flood-affected communities within the two localities (Karari and East Nile) and elsewhere.
The project was officially started on 1 April 2014 and completed on 31 March 2015 with total fund of US$ 1.6 million donated by the Government of Japan.
During the handover ceremonies, H.E. Mr. Hideki Ito, Ambassador of Japan to Sudan, referred to the concept of “Build Back Better” which was adopted in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, last March. “Build Back Better” aims not simply to recover the same situation that existed prior to the disaster, but rather build a society that is more resilient to disasters than before. He also emphasized on the importance of the SSB technology as it can contribute not only to localities, but to Sudan as a whole. Ambassador Ito stressed that reconstruction and planning to overcome floods is a collective work that requires collaboration, cooperation and understanding amid all stakeholders. He concluded his remarks by his hope that this project will continue to serve the coming generations and will always be remembered by the local people for decades to come as a gift from the people of Japan.
Mr. Mustafa Binalmaleh, United Nations Resident Representative and Humanitarian Coordination in Sudan addressed the hand-over ceremony, referring to international community and Sudan has invested large resources for poverty alleviation and improving the lives of people within the framework of the Millennium development goals. He added that it requires greater efforts to be made by Sudan to ensure sustained achievements of the MDGs. He affirmed that this will happen only by strengthening the capacity of communities to cope with the unfavorable conditions.
Mr. Wael Al Ashab, country Director of the UN-Habitat, noting that the outcome of the project was the result of a joint effort and cooperation among UN-Habitat with the government and popular institutions and generous support from the Japanese Government to build the capacity of institutions and communities on how to respond effectively to disasters and rapid recovery. Mr. Wael thanked the Government and people of Japan support such projects great benefits and results
The Commissioner of Karari Locality Mr. Sadiq Mohammed Hassan addressed the ceremony and praised the partnership with UN-Habitat and the outstanding and considerable work carried out in the form of high secondary school, health centre and culverts for surface drainage in areas in most need of support. He also praised the Government of Japan for its continued and generous support not only for this project but also extended its support for local sanitation project. In his conclusion he thanked people of the locality at the official and popular level.