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Our mission is to bring a better life to the Nuba people by providing sustainable sources of clean water. An adequate supply of water, especially potable water, is the doorway to economic and social development in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan. By helping the Nuba solve their age-old problem of scarce water supplies, we free the people to address other pressing needs such as education, sanitation, public health and building stable communities. Our work is for the benefit of all Nuba regardless of religious or ethnic association. Rather than delivering a handout, our guiding principle is to rely on the Nuba peoples' own spirit of independence, resourcefulness and hard work in the creation of economically sound, self-sustaining water projects. Nuba Water Project is not affiliated with any government or religious institution. We are a non-profit organization committed to financial accountability at levels of our organization.
In the Nuba Mountains, two of the most compelling stories of our time, stories about war and water, converge to create unprecedented suffering. The images of civil war, some would call it a genocide, in Darfur are indistinguishable from the images of the civil wars that raged in the central mountains and southern plains of Sudan for most of the last 50 years. Darfur, in fact, is just the latest episode of a story that has played out since Sudan gained its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956.
The other storyline is about water - the essential element for life. Until recently, the U.S. has been largely insulated from the severe problems with water that are so common across the globe. Americans have witnessed, but not experienced first hand, the combined effects of global climate change, deforestation, the relentless advance of deserts, falling levels of ground water, polluted wells, inadequate sanitation and rampant water borne disease that create so much misery in other parts of the world. For us in America, the worldwide water crisis is just gaining prominence as we experience first hand drought and severe water shortages. Parts of the western US have been in a drought for more than 10 years. Now the southeastern United States is experiencing the same phenomenon. The city of Atlanta's water supply is down to less than 90 days. One small town in rural Tennessee, Orme, has completely run out of clean water and must truck in a supply every day. We are beginning to understand personally what the daily struggle for clean water is like for most of the people in the developing world.
Water and War. This is the one - two punch that has brought the Nuba people to their knees. Now that the war has ended, water is the first need above all others that must be addressed. The mission of Nuba Water Project is to bring a better life to the Nuba people by providing sustainable sources of clean water. An adequate supply of water, especially potable water, is the doorway to economic and social development. By helping solve the problem of scarce water supplies, we free the people to address other pressing needs such as education, public health and building stable communities.
This is our purpose. Nuba Water Project brings water and life to the people of the Nuba Mountains by constructing and repairing water infrastructure.
Nuba Water Project's operational model:
1) We build water projects using donor capital for construction but with ongoing operations sustained by the local communities receiving the benefits of the water works.
2) Our goal is to at least double the clean water available to a community.
3) Customers pay for the water they use. This is the only way to establish financially sound, self-sustaining projects.
4) In exchange for construction capital and management services, we share in the revenue generated from our projects.
5) Water revenue covers a portion of Nuba Water Projects' administrative overhead so a higher percentage of donations can be spent on direct project costs.
6) After completion, Nuba Water Project remains involved in operations by providing training, oversight and accountability for the successful management of the water point.
7) Local Nuba Water Project staff strictly control use of donor funds during construction, and oversees the accounts of the water board responsible for the project.
8) Although we do not discount the importance of wells, our emphasis is on capturing the relatively abundant surface water that is received during the rainy season.
9) We look for low cost, high impact projects. It is easier and cheaper to extend, repair and upgrade water points than to start from scratch.
10) We use low cost, innovative water harvesting techniques as much as possible.
In addition to our focus on creating high impact, surface water infrastructure that has a sustainable business model and financial accountability, there are other characteristics of Nuba Water Project that make us unique among the NGO's, and other aid agencies, working in central Sudan.
1) We are a coalition of Sudanese and non-Sudanese scientists, engineers, and business people living both in Sudan and in the US. Many of our leaders are Sudanese from the Nuba Mountains.
2) We always begin our work at the local level. We do not impose "cookie cutter" solutions on the communities with which we work.
3) We work locally but plan regionally in cooperation with village leaders, government ministers, and other stakeholders such as humanitarian groups and international aid agencies.
4) We "sign" each completed project with the construction of a new "Hypar Roof" shelter. The roof is more than our trademark; it is a demonstration of a simple to construct, low cost, permanent alternative to traditional thatch roofs. Hypar Roof construction has the potential to revolutionize housing in rural Sudan and prevent much of the environmental degradation caused by building with sticks and thatch. It is also a shelter providing the women of the village a place to gather out of the summer heat and rainy season weather while they wait to collect water for their families.
5) As volunteers and donors ourselves, we know that you, our supporters, want to know how your money is being used. You may even want to meet the people who are benefiting from your donations. Nuba Water Project is unique in that we allow you to choose which of our projects you will support. We then provide you with progress reports and communication with the people being served by your project.
We begin construction of our first two water projects when we return to Sudan in April 2008: The Miri Reservoir Pipeline Project and The Bilo Village Dam. The Miri Pipeline's first phase is construction of a 2.5 KM (1.6 mile) 4" pipeline from an existing reservoir to serve the 2,500 residents of Miri Bara. An extension will be built to another village of 500 people using a 4.75 KM (3 mile) 2" pipeline.
Our second project is the construction of a small earth, rock and concrete dam in the village of Bilo. We visited this village in May 2007 and learned that there was no local source of water, clean or otherwise. Women and children now walk, with buckets perched on their heads, 3 hours each way to obtain enough clean water for a single day. The Bilo Village Dam will provide a local source of water for drinking and for agriculture
Water and war have been nearly overwhelming challenges for the Nuba. This wicked combination has decimated the population and reduced the Nuba Mountain region to a level of poverty that is extreme even for Africa. Yet there is hope. Now that the long civil war has ended, the Nuba are able to begin rebuilding their lives and their communities. But first, they must have adequate supplies of clean water. This is the starting point for everything else. Without clean water, nothing will change. With clean water, everything becomes possible: emancipation of women from the daily drudgery of fetching water, better public health, reduced infant mortality, children returning to school, food security, and a revitalized economy. Thank you for listening to our story and for your support of our work to bring water and life to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
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