As 2016 Season Winds Down, WFSS Sees Improved Sustainability

The 2016 season is winding down as it appears that the rainy season is on the way. 16 villages received wells and hygiene education. 20 wells repaired.

Another well sponsored by our friends at the NYS Garden Clubs.

Another well sponsored by our friends at the NYS Garden Clubs.

Our team has drilled 16 wells so far and is currently working on finishing and sealing the wells. WFSS took the time this season to work on the design and sustainability of our wells and we are pleased to report that our new design is being implemented in all new wells.

The new well design grew out of the 2015 well evaluation survey, which revealed signs of erosion on the cement platforms. Our team spent the fall and early winter refining the design. That planning time, along with some supplier delays, led to a later start to our season. While the team waited to begin drilling they used that time to repair 20 local wells drilled by other organizations, helping to maintain access to clean water for those in need.

 “We know that we have a much better process now,” says US Operations Director and Board member Don Fairman. “Greater sustainability of our wells means that in the long run we’ll be able to help even more people as our wells last longer and have fewer breakdowns.”

Wfss hygiene team helps villagers improve hygiene practices.

Wfss hygiene team helps villagers improve hygiene practices.

The WFSS Hygiene Team traveled alongside the drilling team and provided hygiene education and training to every village which received a well. The hygiene team is also involved in our sustainability efforts, and will work to help educate villagers on the importance of maintaining the well and constructing fencing to protect it. Future WFSS evaluations will include how well villages continue their hygiene training and practices.

While we didn’t reach our usual number of wells drilled this season, the information we’ve learned, along with our improved well design, will have a significant impact on future wells, and wells which we’ll rehabilitate. As we continue to learn and improve, we’ll be sharing our knowledge with other water drilling operations as well as the South Sudanese Ministry which oversees water access and management.

new well installed in 2016

new well installed in 2016

As one drilling season ends, planning for the next one begins. WFSS will continue improving the technical sustainability of wells which also is key to protecting the aquifer which supplies them.  Our hygiene team will continue its work and we will look to develop a pilot sanitation project.

As we look ahead, our well redesign and retrofitting is in place.  We have unwavering attention on developing our South Sudanese team’s skills and talent. We’re seeking to expand our collaborations with other NGOs.  And the numbers of people who contribute time, money and skills to our now 12 year old organization continues to grow and amaze.

With all this momentum, our mission of partnering with the people of South Sudan to empower and transform their lives is stronger than ever. Thank you from Salva and our South Sudan and US leadership and staff for helping make that possible.