An underground lake the size of Lake Erie has been discovered beneath the windblown sands of Sudan's Darfur region. The newly mapped water source may help to alleviate the conflict between Arab nomads and the African farming population that has killed more than 200,000 people and affected at least four million others since 2003.
Based on location of the Northern Darfur Mega-lake, a new humanitarian initiative to bring water resources to the region has been launched by the government of Sudan following a meeting last month between El-Baz and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.
Called "1,000 Wells for Darfur," the plan aims to create new groundwater resources to help establish peace and economic security in the region.
The new water resource is sorely needed in Darfur where the security situation continues to deteriorate displacing more than 400,000 people in the last year, according to the Washington-based Save Darfur Coalition.
Four million people are now affected by the crisis, which has spread from Sudan into Chad and the Central African Republic, and almost a quarter of these people cannot get humanitarian assistance because of insecurity.
The next step for the 1,000 Wells for Darfur project is the identification of the best locations for drilling of the initial wells.