The Sudan Sustainable Natural Resources Management Project (SSNRMP), which is currently being implemented in three states, is to be extended to three more states.
The disclosure was made by Dr Hassan Hilal, the Sudanese Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development, in Khartoum on Monday, May 7, 2018 while declaring open the Workshop on Planning and Implementing a Communication Strategy, organised under the Building Resilience through Innovation, Communication and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) Project.
Dr Hilal described the SSNRMP as one of the Great Green Wall Initiatives (GGWI) projects being implemented in 19 villages in Kassal, Gezira, and White Nile states. According to him, the project, which was launched August 13, 2014, “is in the right track to achieve it is development objective by working in an integrated manner to achieve future sustainability”.
While stressing that the focus of the workshop underlined the importance of communication, the minister pointed out that the effective communication of any issue will result in “excellent results”. He added that communication mainly depends on collecting of correct information and the use of best tools or mechanism to convey the message to different audiences.
His words: “Here in Sudan, our project, the SSNRMP, pledged to give priority to communication. They conducted as an intensive communication study in which all stakeholders are included and this appears in the main action plan of the study, wherein 27 journalists were trained in line with an advice from the consultant. We achieved very good results such as the creation of on task force of environmental journalists.”
He disclosed that the best practices gained from SSNRMP were documented and disseminated, adding that one of the main outputs generated is that the project will now be extended to add three new states in the coming period.
On Wednesday, May 9, workshop participants visited the SSNRMP project sites. Initially, they were received at the Albutana University where a short video allowed the delegation to immerse themselves in the different components of the project and the impacts induced in the communities of the areas covered.
Under the leadership of the National Coordinator of the SSNRMP, Ibrahim Doka, and the Gezira State Coordinator, Madam Eiman Adawi, the participants visited the forest rehabilitation zone which covers four villages in the state of Gezira. On the spot, the delegation saw first-hand the degraded state of the forest and as well as the soil.
According to Doka and Adawi, the degradation, which dates back 20 years, is due to climatic variability exacerbated by the uncontrolled logging of forest resources and non-resilient agricultural practices.
“But, today, the awakening of conscience of the communities through the implementation of the project augurs a better tomorrow,” they stated, adding that the participatory rehabilitation process involves planting the Acacia Senegal, a tree species adapted to arid zones.
They added that, if weather conditions allow, the forest would regenerate within five years where rational management will be planned.
The second site visited was the Taybeen Village Community Garden located a few miles from the Wadbugul Forest. On-site activities consist of nursery production (forest rehabilitation plants and fruit trees), and other income generating activities.
According to Areeg Ali Ibrahim, community facilitator, the project’s activities have improved the living conditions of the population, who now have access to drinking water resources and financial empowerment.
Revenues generated by the sale of nurseries and other related activities, he added, enabled the construction of school buildings and the opening of a bank account, which ensures the sustainability of the project after the closing of the financing partners.
Community leaders, however, asked for the extension of the project beyond its five-year (2014-2019) period.
Costing $7.73 million and falling under the Sahel and West Africa Programme in Support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (SAWAP), the SSNRMP is being funded by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Other organisations involved in the SAWAP initiative are the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sahara and Sahel Observatory, and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
Sudan is a landlocked nation in northeast Africa comprising 18 states.