Water for South Sudan completed the 2013 drilling season in May with 40 new wells, our most successful drilling season to date. With the addition of these wells, we have now drilled 177 wells since 2005, serving an estimated 400,000 South Sudanese.
At the WFSS Annual Meeting in Rochester in June, Board President Christopher Moore thanked the entire South Sudan team for their incredible work in accomplishing the goal they had set out in December.
Drilling manager Ater Thiep said that he wasn't sure they would be able to meet that goal. "We started late," he said, "heading out to begin drilling on January 17. It was challenging and we faced many difficulties."
Difficulties included drilling most of the season without the use of compressors, which were awaiting repair. This necessitated a change in where the team drilled, as the compressors are needed to drill through rocky soil. The team found villages in which to drill, but because of this they were not able to drill in the villages which had been promised wells.
Even with full use of compressors the drilling environment in South Sudan is always challenging, with temperatures reaching as high as 120º F. Assistant drilling manager Benson Deng noted the high success rate of this year’s drilling, and told about the happiness of villagers who received a well.
Deng related the story of a villager who brought four goats to the WFSS team, in thanksgiving for their well. When the team declined this generous offer the villager told them it was the least he could do, because the previous year he lost 25 goats to hyenas, when his goats had to travel long distances to get to water.
The gifts of water are many. WFSS thanks all of its supporters for enabling this transforming work.