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Renewable Energy Serves as a Peacebuilding Catalyst in Sudan

Solar powered water pumps run on electricity generated after its absorption by photovoltaic panels. The panels collect the radiated thermal energy from the sun and convert it to electricity that powers the pumps for water extraction. This technology is extremely viable for regions that receive high temperatures and consistent sunlight (Ahmed and Anderson 1995). Sudan is one of the countries on the solar belt zone where radiation of the sun is the strongest.

UNDP took the initiative to install solar powered pumps within the context of peace building. UNDP has implemented C2SP (Community Security and Stabilization Programme) in 6 states in Sudan. The aim of C2SP is to build peace in communities and strengthen their resilience to conflict. Scarcity of water in Sudan is known to cause conflict between and within communities. Added to this is the increased pressure on water resources due to a high presence of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) within communities.

The contribution of Canada, Japan, Italy and Spain towards C2SP has helped to propel C2SP interventions in Sudan. UNDP with with the government, NGOs and IPs (implementing partners) has installed solar powered water pumps in El Gari in Blue Nile Sate, Um Dukhon in Central Darfur and Tandalti in West Darfur, Diling and Abbasiya in South Kordofan, Abu Jebayha and Abu Kershola in West Kordofan and El Rahad in North Kordofan. Upcoming projects will focus on Azaza in Blue Nile state, Bulbul Alnagara in South Darfur and Dindero in Blue Nile. In total, 200,000 people from 8 localities have benefited from a steady supply of water.

Jeanne Menjoulet

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