Sharing hard-earned expertise to increase groundwater resources

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Sido Ide (Niger) is a UN Volunteer Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist. At 63 years of age, he serves with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Chad. “This was my chance to serve as a global citizen and make a positive impact on the lives of refugees,” he says.

As part of his role with UNHCR Chad, Sido oversees WASH facilities, coordinates the installation of new infrastructure and ensures that WASH requirements are implemented by local partners. This increases groundwater resources, enabling refugees and host communities to improve agricultural production, provide water for their livestock and generate income through the sale of surplus produce. 

Sido developed construction files for new infiltration and spreading weirs, which positively affect the distribution of soil and water. These included hydro-agriculture and pond development plans. He also supported fundraising for refugee-friendly projects, such as Support of Refugees and Host Communities and Inclusive Development of Host Zones in Chad.

In collaboration with UNICEF, Sido assessed WASH requirements in 12 refugee-hosting villages on the Sudanese border, which led to the installation of modern water points.

Sido also evaluated a 125-hectare market gardening site in Guereda, located in Wadi Fira province, which is largely inhabited by refugees. He helped develop a concept note for a Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus project that aims to protect the environment and strengthen peaceful coexistence and resilience of refugees and host populations in the Kouchaguin-Moura, Farchana, Kerfi and Djabal camps. This foresees the protection of five hectares of lan, where 10,000 trees and herbaceous plants will be planted. 

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Sido values a multicultural and multi-religious environment where diversity and inclusivity are promoted. 

Before becoming a volunteer, Sido worked in the hydro-agricultural and pastoral development sector in development projects. He contributed to disaster risk management, urban and rural development. While in the private sector, Sido supervised technical studies and the construction of irrigation dams over marshes in Burundi and southern Rwanda. Early in his career, he served with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livelihoods in Niger.

On World Water Day, we recognize the contributions of UN Volunteers like Sido who lend their expertise to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, including in areas like poverty eradication, hunger alleviation and provision of clean water and sanitation.

Currently, 178 UN Volunteers serve with UNHCR in 15 countries in West and Central Africa, including Mauritania, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad.   

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Volunteer.