Migration from the countryside to the cities and the capital, Khartoum, is a major concern for the state and great sectors of activists due to its disastrous consequences for the migrant Individuals and the cities altogether. This migration caused vast areas to be semi deserted thus production there ceased while the towns themselves suffered from over population which led to sharp shortage in services.
One of the results is that migrants formed poor communities living in informal settlements, where crime in all its forms occur beside the poor living standards in which these communities live.
To address this dilemma, a group of Sudanese engineers launched an initiative which targeted balanced development and services promotion in the countryside and cities, called (Urban Development Initiative).
The initiative is one of the direct findings of the University of Khartoum Engineers’ Association that was formed during December 2018 revolution.
The initiative, according to the engineer, Rawa’a Ghareeb Allah, a member of the initiative, consists of 150 members distributed on all continents of the world to benefit from their experiences in ending the urban development crisis in the countryside and cities as well. Rawa’a says “The initiative , which is concerned for ending a dilemma that Sudan has been suffering , consists of (9) specialized groups, for example urban planning, infrastructure, the national code, and health and safety measures , have conducted studies and surveys through all Sudan. These studies have been analyzed to produce results to develop Strategic solutions, afterwards there will be workshops on these studies in the presence of ministers and state officials to acquire acquaintance with the advisory outputs of these studies.”
The urban planning group, which is one of the initiative’s most important projects, aims to end (the centralization of cities), including the capital Khartoum, by addressing the reasons that drive rural residents to migrate to cities that can no longer absorb more throngs of arrive rs. Cities are no longer able to fulfill the least constituencies for their primary citizens and arrivers. Among the solutions, according to Eng. Rawa’a, is to design projects to provide basic services and facilitate their access by constructing roads and city services in concurrency with studies that work to direct service projects to a number of regions of the Sudan affected by wars and poverty.
Rawa’a believes that the initiative has revealed a number of problems in the way of its projects, among them finding donors besides the existence of some laws that the initiative seeks to overcome through the concerned institutions of the state, but the United Nations Development Fund partnership may provide an accessible approach for them to reach the goal, as Rawa’a said.
In addition to urban planning, the initiative conducted adequate studies according to the magnitude of the sewage systems that do not cover 0.5% in the main cities and Khartoum itself. Rawa’a said that they presented a road map to the government agencies, after preparing a comprehensive study and workshops to address sanitation problems, noting its negative results in deteriorated environmental health and the general appearance.
In addition, the initiative noted the problem of occupational safety as one of the main problems in production institutions, and its link to the quality and quantity of production if safety and occupational health are well provided to workers in these institutions. In this regard, the initiative also conducted series of studies by experts from the graduates of the University of Khartoum engineering at home and abroad, to provide this advantage to the productive individual, whether he is an owner of the institution or a worker.
“We have presented all studies and projects to the transitional government that have expressed its willingness to work in enforcing the studies’ contents and to reconsider the laws that can restrict the plans’ progress,” Rawa’a said, but she believes that the state alone cannot fulfill the “9” projects, so they wholly rely on it.
According to the latest statistic, as revealed by the initiative, in the year 2018, Khartoum used to receivd about 9,000 families from the states per month at the minimum to as permanent residence, despite the huge cost of living and services. Most families coming from the states to the capital resorted in the peripheral areas in random complexes due to the high cost of housing in urban and planned areas, according to a report by Khartoum State in 2016.
Immigration from the countryside to the main cities started in the middle of 1983 during the wave of drought and desertification that struck large parts of Sudan, to escalate the frequency of migrations to Khartoum and large cities and then in higher rates after the renewal of the civil war in South Sudan in the same year, and large random resorts emerged on the outskirts of Khartoum, such as Rubkona side in the west of Omdurman , Dar Al – Salam in the south of Khartoum and Kassala Carton in the east of the Nile. There also emerged compounds for the displaced in the south in the main cities, and thousands of displaced people shared services with its residents to add a new burden on cities’ services .
In the year 2004 hundreds of displaced fleeing the civil war in western Sudanese region of Darfur made their way to the capital Khartoum and also to the big cities. However, the war factor was not the only factor pushing families to desert their homes to the cities, as the level of services in rural areas descended whether in education or health and the concentration of education was required in the big cities as well as the capital, Khartoum. Most of the displaced families return the reasons for their migration to the capital and abandoning their home, their craft and farms to choose Khartoum despite the high cost of living and services, due to the lack of services in the countryside and the outskirts.