While we have been making our way through snow, cold and winter in many parts of the US, South Sudan is in the midst of their dry season, when the temperatures routinely are above 100 degrees, and WFSS’s busy operating season continues.
Our teams have been working hard – new wells have been drilled, older wells have been rehabilitated, and all the villages we have visited have received hygiene education training. We are happy to report on the progress of the 2018-19 season.
REHAB TEAM FINISHES 51 WELLS
The rehab team travels to our wells drilled in previous years to assess them, and do any repairs needed. They also rehabilitate the platforms and drainage channels around the wells to bring them to a higher design standard. The rehab team got an early start this year, heading into the field in October.
As of March 14, the rehab team had completed 51 rehabs, surpassing their goal of 50. The rehab team will soon head back to our compound in Wau to work with one of our new drilling rigs and transition to become a second drilling team for the remainder of the season.
SEVENTEEN NEW WELLS AND COUNTING
The drilling team started in January, and has been moving more slowly as they are working in a very remote area of Tonj North State. This presents several challenges, including more travel time needed to get to government-approved gravel distribution sites, and there is less access to water needed for drilling. As always, our team is managing the ever-present challenges in South Sudan. They developed an alternative plan to secure a submersible pump which will be used to fill the enormous bladders with the water needed to drill new wells. As of March 14, the team had completed 17 wells, and that number will grow more quickly when the rehab team begins drilling.
HYGIENE EDUCATION CONTINUES
The WFSS hygiene education teams deliver training that aims to improve hygiene behaviors. We have two teams which travel with our drilling and rehab teams. Through our “train the trainer” model we help villagers understand how to stay healthy, how to keep clean water clean, and how to improve general hygiene practices in the home. We made improvements to our hygiene curriculum this year, and will continue to review the hygiene program.
Our entire team in South Sudan is working to continuously improve all we do – from our field teams to our operations center. We are already working on goals for next year, with a strategic vision to expand our reach and impact.
As always, we could not do this without the tremendous support of our donors around the world. THANK YOU for your ongoing generosity which helps us water the seeds of change in South Sudan!