Press release: New agreement with the Government of Japan to improve access to water for vulnerable communities in Darfur

Khartoum, 6 March 2015 – The Government of Japan and the UNOPS have signed an agreement to implement a $1.8 million project that aims to improve access to secure water sources for vulnerable communities in West and East Darfur.

​Limited access to safe water increases the risk of waterborne diseases and has been one of the major challenges facing Darfur in the past decades. This has been aggravated by rising urbanization, as more and more people settle in urban neighborhoods, without access to secure water sources.

In response, the Government of Japan, one of the major actors supporting the water sector in Darfur, has supported UNOPS in establishing new public water posts in El Geneina (West Darfur) and rehabilitating existing water yards in El Daein (East Darfur). The aim of this project is to enhance access to safe water, as well as strengthen the management capacity of local communities and urban water authorities.

H.E. Mr. Hideki Ito, Ambassador of Japan in Sudan, welcomed the new cooperation with UNOPS, stating: “Last year Japan rehabilitated an old, unused water treatment plant in El Fasher with UNOPS. This new project represents a continuation of Japan’s assistance in promoting improved water supply in Darfur. Life is impossible without water, and in Darfur, people struggle for water. Japan is keen to help people in Darfur safely access water sources, reducing the risk of conflict between communities.”

Robbert Bekker, Head of UNOPS Sudan Office, thanked the Government of Japan for their continued support to improving access to safe water, noting that: “UNOPS has supported urban water supply in Darfur since 2010, through the upgrading of the existing water infrastructure and capacity building activities in four Darfur State capitals. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the Government of Japan, in order to maximize benefits for the people of Darfur.” Present in Sudan since 2005, UNOPS has extensive experience in supporting the Government and international partners with humanitarian, recovery and sustainable development projects.

For press inquiries, please contact: Kazuyo Mitsuhashi, UNOPS Project Coordinator,, Tel: +249 (0) 991 35 80 43