33 new wells brings 6-year total to 76 life-giving wells.
Salva Dut and Dep Tuany have returned home after an extraordinarily successful drilling season, and Ater Thiep will soon follow.
Thanks to the generosity and commitment of supporters, this year’s Water for Sudan drilling season in Southern Sudan was the most productive to date. Water for Sudan's mission continues to be drilling wells in remote villages, but this year we added another dimension to our work.
Water for Sudan collaborated with the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to help speed the return of thousands of Sudanese refugees to Southern Sudan from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Northern Sudan. Our teams drilled in locations mutually chosen by GoSS, village elders, and Salva. GoSS-funded construction of housing and schools for returnees followed the wells we drilled. UNICEF and Doctors without Borders will soon build clinics in some of these locations.
Update from Board Chair Christopher Moore
At the June Board meeting, Christopher Moore shared his recent experience and learning from attending The American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS) Annual Conference June 4 to 6, 2010 in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference focused on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and prospects for peace in Sudan. One of the speakers was Alan Goulty, the UK’s Ambassador to Sudan from 1995 to 1999, and the UK’s Special Representative for Sudan from 2002 to 2004.
Moore reviewed some of the main challenges of preparing for the January 2011 referendum when Southern Sudanese will vote on whether to remain part of Sudan or become the world’s newest nation. Issues presented and discussed included — how is eligibility to register to vote being determined; are Sudanese-Americans eligible; are Southern Sudanese living in Northern Sudan eligible? What about those in refugee camps in other countries?
Moore described the potential for the Khartoum government in northern Sudan to reject referendum results as invalid if these issues are not completely resolved in advance of the referendum. He also noted the potential for unrest should the referendum not go smoothly and the results not be recognized.
It is widely expected by authorities on Sudan that Southern Sudanese will vote for independence by a margin of six to one. The CPA specifies a six month transition period after the referendum until independence actually occurs. Water for Sudan will be closely monitoring the political situation in the months ahead and preparing for the referendum outcome and transition. According to Moore, “The safety of Water for Sudan’s crew, equipment, and our donors' investment is paramount. The 2011 drilling season is not written in stone. If we are drilling and something happens we will be prepared to move out, as far as Uganda if necessary.”
“What you are doing is incredible."
During the AFRECS conference, Moore met with Gary Imhoff, a Director from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Imhoff told Moore, “What you are doing is incredible. There are very few organizations that have been able to accomplish what you’ve done.” Moore thanked him and replied, “We want to do more. How can we become more effective?”
The USAID Director said to seek out partnerships with other like organizations and make proposals for joint projects — such as water, sanitation, schools, and medical clinics. With Water for Sudan leading, the proposals have a very good chance of being funded, Imhoff said. Creating these partnerships and joint proposals will be a major focus starting now for Moore and the WFS Board.
Water for Sudan in the News:
Water for Sudan was featured in June's United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) magazine. UNMIS was created by the UN Security Council to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.