In the absence of health services and lack of medical staff, people resort to alternative medicine.
El Azaza El Rawaj
Project Site: El-Azaza El-Rawaj
Country: The Republic of Sudan
Administration: Karkoj Administrative Unit
6000+ people, 600 families, the majority are young people
10% have a secondary education - 5% have a college degree
10% have a stable income - 90% fall short of income
6% get water from tap stands - 94% fetch water by the river
70% of adults and 90% of children have health issues
El-Azaza El-Rawaj is one of the relatively old villages in Sudan; founded in 1889. It is located in Suki locality in the State of Sennar. The available services in the village are two primary schools, a health clinic, and a water well in the northern neighborhood.
Over the times a group of small villages populated around El-Azaza El-Rawaj and ultimately became dependent on its resources and essential services.
WATER & SANITATION - The well, from the 1970s, provides salty non-potable water in storage opened tanks. Villagers fetch drinking water directly by the Nile in a three-hour daily trek. Sanitation and sewage networks are not available in the area. Latrines in the homes pose high health risks in the rainy seasons when the Nile level goes high; the sewage water mix with the river water making it a rich environment for disease outbreaks.
HEALTHCARE - The health unit is a one-room building constructed in the 1970s. The building is dilapidated and in deplorable condition, run by a medical assistant. There is not a certified doctor. At most, patients compulsorily travel 45 kilometers away from the village seeking medication. Not to mention the cases that require urgent care.
EDUCATION - There are two primary schools, one for boys and one for girls. The active number of students is 755 children. However, more than 250 children don't find places at schools, resulting in a significant school dropout, with the number accumulating every year. Classrooms are built out of red bricks and are subject to fall due to environmental factors: corrosion and rainwater. Children sit on the dirt floor to attend classes; sometimes in the open.
High school is 8 kilometers away from the village. Students have to make a 16km-trek (5miles) on foot every day.
Preschool is not available in the village.
ENVIRONMENT - The village has a warm semi-arid climate; dry in the summer and winter seasons and rainy in the fall season. The majority of the houses are built from mud, smeared with a mixture of animal manure and some clay soil to protect them from rain. The outer coating must be restored every season to ensure the sustainability of the buildings over time.
LIVELIHOOD - El-Azaza El-Rawaj has fertile land. In the early times, 5000 acres were used to produce cotton, sunflower, and maize, to name a few. Today people are reliant on traditional grazing and livestock breeding that barely covers their sufficiency. Heads of households migrate to bigger cities seeking better opportunities, leaving behind their families in instability, where they end up having little chance of fortune.
It is not easy to impose a change on a community, even if it changes their lives for the better. Every culture requires keys and ways to explore and comprehend; we are lucky we have a team well embedded in the community. We chose El-Azaza El-Rawaj village as our first project site because it meets our organization's mission requirements. On our first visit, the village mayors were very cooperative. They provided us with information and allowed us to inspect the area and conduct interviews with some residents. Everyone was very welcoming to our team and got pragmatically optimistic about making a difference, and is ready to work with us towards progress.
Water is the elixir of life
Children fetching water by the Nile are prone to drowning and falling prey to crocodiles when the water level goes high. Untreated water contains contaminants that are rarely visible to the naked eye and causes various ailments, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and even pneumonia. A lot of people's lives are at risk as a result of drinking non-potable water.
Omer is a resident of El-Azaza El-Rawaj village. He and his classmates experienced many difficulties in school time, from the lack of support for education, the lack of a suitable environment, and the lack of medication.
After a lot of effort, he made it to high school, passed the exams, and was able to join the university. He graduated from the school of psychology; Yet today, he is unemployed and does not find an opportunity to work.