Water for South Sudan has begun 2014 in record fashion with 23 wells drilled as of early March, which brings our grand total to 200 wells drilled since 2005. Last fall team members prepared for the drilling season by repairing vehicles and equipment and procuring supplies. They went into the field in early December and have been drilling successfully since then with small time-outs for additional repairs.
In January, the new WFSS Hygiene Team joined the drilling crew, bringing hygiene education to villages receiving wells. Our new team helps villagers deal with a number of water and hygiene related health problems. They involve the villagers in identifying those problems and their solutions. Read more on this exciting new project here.
Our drilling team has also begun a systematic reporting of the additional wells that they repair as they travel to drilling sites. Repairing and maintaining non-functioning wells is now an integral part of drilling operations. Since 2013 we have helped villages to maintain at least 17 wells, not originally drilled by Water for South Sudan. Knowing that wells serve an average 1500 people, these recent repairs have enabled renewed access to clean water for more than 25,000 people.
On December 15, 2013 fighting broke out in the South Sudan capital of Juba and later spread to three of South Sudan’s 10 states as forces loyal to President Salva Kiir battled anti-government rebels linked to former vice-president Riek Machar. Since then, violence has affected parts of the country and over 700,000 people have been displaced.
WFSS crews have been safe at all times, reporting that the situation in Wau, home to the WFSS operations compound, has been unaffected by the turmoil. Our operations and drilling in the region continues to be unaffected. The WFSS board and staff in the US have been in close contact with our South Sudan team and continue to monitor the situation very closely.
WFSS joins the international community in supporting a peaceful resolution of conflict in South Sudan.