Water contamination is a universal issue that affects millions of people worldwide. In the US the issue was thrust into the spotlight over the controversy surrounding hydraulic fracking. The pumping of chemicals such as benzene near, or in some cases directly above, the ground water supply did not sit well with some Americans. In addition, a variety of viral videos and public accounts, most notably 2010’s Gasland, shed light on what effects these chemicals could have on the water supply. Videos showing tap water that burst into flames upon contact with a lighter showed the consequences of some of America’s pursuit of natural resources.
However, the USA is not the only country affected by water contamination. In fact, many countries throughout the world face problems that are perhaps more severe than those caused by hydraulic fracking. Diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery are all caused by water pollution. Sadly, South Sudan is not immune to such disease. In fact, much more of South Sudan’s population is at risk for water contamination than is the United States’. IRIN News reports that South Sudan has a water contamination problem that is two-fold. Not only is some of its drinking water contaminated, but the methods used to transport the water are often unsafe. Tankers that have been exposed to deadly diarrheal diseases are often reused and carry infected water into largely populated areas. In fact, CCN recently reported an outbreak of cholera in a crowded military barrack that result in around 200 deaths of armed personnel within South Sudan. Additional reports showed contamination of water wells in Unity State by nearby oil fields. Clearly, this is a problem that has large implications and a number of disastrous outcomes for a country that is already affected in a number of ways.
Water for South Sudan (WFSS) is committed to drilling new wells and providing greater access to a clean water supply. WFSS takes great care in the installation of wells to avoid contamination of the water source. In 2015 WFSS surveyed a large statistical sampling of wells which showed all to be in good operating order. WFSS also found that some of the cement platforms are in need of repair. They will launch a pilot platform rehabilitation team in 2016 to begin to address this issue, and to also continue to preserve the good quality of the water source for wells.
In addition, as the number of clean drinking wells increases, communities will have more access to fresh water, and this in turn will limit the need for transport vehicles that can become contaminated. Joining with WFSS we can make a difference and stop the spread of harmful diseases.