First Person Blog

Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

Carrying a heavy load in Sudan

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Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson / Oxfam America
Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson / Oxfam America

Like many of you, we’re all closely following the news about the situation in Sudan today. You may already know that the Sudanese government has revoked the operating license of Oxfam Great Britain. Together, aid groups have been providing life-saving assistance to some of the 2.7 million people displaced in the region.

Among those 2.7 million are the girls in the photo above, which was taken in April 2007 in Kebkabiya, North Sudan. Though the land is dry, the tens of thousands of people in and around Kebkabiya–many of whom have fled here for safety since the crisis erupted in Darfur–have access to clean water. Thanks to humanitarian efforts, Oxfam helped the town to build a water system–its first ever.

(Fetching water takes work-a task that typically falls to women and girls. Here, on the outskirts of Kebkabiya, these girls, pumping fast, can fill a five-gallon water jug in one-and-a-half minutes. To catch every drop, they use a plastic soda bottle, with its bottom cut off, to funnel the water into their jugs. Once filled, each jug weighs close to 42 pounds.)

You can read more about the current situation here–and know that we’ll be keeping you informed as the situation develops. Since Oxfam works closely with volunteers in local communities, we expect those helpers will be able to keep the clean water flowing for a few weeks.

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