On 5 June, hundreds of people including women, youth, Government of Sudan officials and UNAMID staff gathered at El Fasher Maternity Hospital to mark World Environment Day, under the theme “Connecting People to Nature”.
Guests planted trees, cleaned and painted the Maternity Hospital and were entertained by a local drama group as part of the activities organized by UNAMID to mark the Day. Additionally, mission staff donated cleaning materials to the hospital to help staff maintain the sanitation standards of the maternity wards.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Rule of Law who represented UNAMID Leadership at the event, Ms. Francoise Simard, highlighted the environmental problems that the world is facing, including rapid growth in world population, deteriorating natural resources, depleted underground water and regular shortage of fresh drinking water, especially in desert environments like Darfur.
Ms. Simard noted that, according to environment experts, environmental degradation is very much part of the reality in Darfur, adding that each year, Darfur loses approximately 2.5 kilometers of arable land. “This obviously contributes to the security situation in Darfur and the conflicts over water resources and pasture”, added Ms. Simard.
In his remarks, Mr. Hamza Abass, Minister of Culture and Environment in north Darfur, urged the gathering to protect the environment in Darfur and expressed his Government’s readiness to work with all organizations in planting trees in the region. He commended UNAMID’s continued efforts to support peace and the environment in Darfur.
Alradi Mastour, the Director of El Fasher Maternity Hospital expressed his gratitude to UNAMID for its initiatives in protecting the environment and explained that proper environment management is key to ensuring better health in the community.
Events to mark World Environment Day were organized by the mission in Zalingei, Central Darfur and Nyala, South Darfur. During these commemorative events, all UNAMID personnel were encouraged to go outdoors to explore nature, to appreciate nature’s beauty and to plant trees as a way of protecting the “Earth that we all love and share.”
This story was originally posted on the UNAMID website.