When will people in developing countries benefit from the wealth beneath their feet?
This letter was signed by 15 Bishops from three continents.
Multinational companies deprive developing countries of nearly 125 billion Euros each year.
We, church leaders from all over the world, call on the EU to stop this now.
As the crises hit our economies and societies harder every day and impact particularly on the poorest, citizens are asking for new rules to put more morality into the financial system.
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In the exhausting heat of the day, women stroll around Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, in the most amazing dress which paint the arid and dusty skyline with a magnificent pallet of purples, blues, yellows and greens.
They look immaculate as the sun dips in the West and falls on the chorus of the bustling markets and streets which animate Nyala town.
Donkey-pulled carriages still populate the dirt streets and it’s an off day when the men sitting in groups, adorned in white jalabiyas don’t give you a firm, warm Sudanese greeting. A strong handshake which could outlast the sunset.
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Communities in Darfur are finding sustainable solutions to water shortages in camps for people who have been forced to flee from their homes.
The rainy season in South Darfur typically lasts five or six months of the year. For the remainder, the land is dry, arid and desolate. With the length of the rainy season becoming increasingly unpredictable in Darfur, water has become a precious commodity.
While the climate change debate is on the collective brows of our world leaders, innovative adaptive measures are being taken in Darfur to secure sustainable water sources amidst the continuing drought.
Osman, the Project Coordinator of a Water and Sanitation Team supported by CAFOD’s partner, Caritas said, “Kubum Solar Water Project was initiated by the growing need for sustainable sources of water in the camps for people who have been displaced. This is the first successful example of an aid agency using a solar powered solution for the benefit of the camp communities”.
If there is one thing which Darfur has in abundance, it’s sunlight. Using clean technologies to derive solar energy is proving to be an efficient way of creating sustainable water supplies for communities affected by the ongoing violence in Darfur. These projects offer a community-owned solution to the resource scarcity which fuels violence between different ethnic tribes.
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For two hours our small plane droned its way south-eastwards from Khartoum towards our destination of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Straining through the porthole to view the landscape, I could see only a great expanse of sand and scrub, with the occasional wadi or dry river bed. As the rainy season had only ended a few weeks earlier, there was still a trace of water in some places, but not for much longer in the great heat of Sudan.
Then suddenly the tone of the plane’s engines dropped and we were coming down to land. As we drew closer, those dull forms were materialising before our eyes: a settlement of mud huts with pointed, thatched roofs rushed past, and close-by a group of women in brightly coloured robes were bending low to tend their crops.
A large man in a white billowing jalabiya rode away on a small motor bike, leaving a trail of dust behind, perhaps heading for the mosque as it was a Friday morning. In the distance a herd of nodding goats was foraging for grass, followed at a distance by their goatherd wielding a long stick. These were all welcome signs that in this troubled land people were still going about their normal life.
With a screech and a bump we were on the ground and within moments we were outside the aircraft in the searing, dry heat of South Darfur once again. Our driver was there to meet us, no longer the proud custodian of a robust and comfortable 4×4 vehicle, but in a plain inconspicuous saloon car to avoid drawing attention to our assets. Both the UN and NGOs have experienced a lot of car-jackings over the past two years, so it is wise to take these precautions.
This is not an easy place to live at the best of times, on the fringes of desert.
As we drove around the region we saw many waterholes sunk into dry river beds, the only source of water in the dry season.
But the difficult environment can be managed. Just slightly further inland, away from the immediate threat of violence, we saw a very different village.
Supported by an irrigation project run by CAFOD’s partner SECADEV, members of a village cooperative stood proudly amongst a field of plump green vegetables – marrows, sesame oil seeds, onions – proof that with stability and hard work a better life can be built, even in one of the harshest environments on earth.
It is therefore the conflict, above all, which places the Chadian border communities in such an impossible position.
Chased repeatedly from their land, their ability to maintain a livelihood has tipped below a critical level putting their children at risk of malnutrition, and leaving them unable to pay for healthcare or education.
Filed under CAFOD, Chad, Darfur