The scarcity of water, a basic livelihoods resource, often leads to conflicts between different water users in Sudan. When implementing water projects without taking into account this context of conflict, the interventions can do harm and create even more conflicts.
The site selection for the construction of water infrastructure may be controversial; insufficient knowledge of the different water user groups and the power dynamics may lead to exclusion of specific groups from decision making. The Aqua4Sudan partnership consists of seven NGOs including ZOA. This partnership has implemented the Rural Water for Sudan project with funding from UKaid and the EU.
In this technical paper we describe the community-led Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) approach which balances the different water needs with the total availability of water within the catchment area. The paper documents how the IWRM approach has minimised conflicts by supporting the relevant stakeholders to jointly develop an IWRM plan for their area. It also shows how the IWRM approach has led to more social cohesion and mutual understanding between different water user groups.