When Joseph was born, there was no fresh water in his village. While she was carrying him, Joseph’s mother had to walk five miles from her village to fetch water, which she did twice a day. The water was contaminated and Joseph’s mother was often sick during her pregnancy.
Joseph was also sick for most of his life as an infant. This is a common story – in 2015, 508,954² children under the age of 5 worldwide died from diarrhea. South Sudan, a country with a population of 12 million, ranks #34 worldwide in diarrhea-related deaths, with 3,243 in 2015.
In 2016, WFSS drilled a well in Joseph’s village. With access to clean, safe water, Joseph’s mom no longer has to walk for water. She participated as a village representative in WFSS’s Hygiene Education Program, where she learned tips for keeping her family clean and healthy. She now has more time to care for her family and to teach her neighbors about personal cleanliness, practices that keep her family, their village, and their well safe.
As a young girl Alek was not able to attend school because, as the oldest daughter, she was responsible for finding and collecting water for her family. That all changed when Water for South Sudan drilled a well in her village. Alek’s responsibility to provide water for her family became much easier with a well only a short walk away. This change gave Alek the opportunity to think about her own life and choose a path for herself.
Despite being older than many of the other students, Alek decided to attend school. She wanted to learn to read and write. She also wanted to start a business and she needed at least a basic understanding of numbers.
Alek was granted a microloan, with which she purchased vegetable seeds. She cultivates a large garden of vegetables, including squash and collard greens. Now she has a business selling vegetables in the marketplace and she earns money every day. She is helping her family and herself to have a more financially stable life. Without a well nearby Alek would not be able to have a large, thriving garden.
A before and after view of a rehabilitated well from 2017.
WFSS performed an evaluation of 80 older wells in 2015. While the wells visited were operating and usable, the platforms around the wells were often cracked or broken. The operations team redesigned the platforms around the well, strengthening the concrete used, lengthening the channel from the well to the drinking pool for animals, and enlisting villagers to build fences to keep animals from stepping in the channel.
Our rehab team will be visiting older wells each season to update all of the previously installed platforms. A second hygiene education team will travel with the rehab team to provide training in those villages as well.
Please join us again this year with your annual contribution.