2018-19 Season Begins for Rehab Team

 Children gather around newly rehabilitated well in Jur River County.

Children gather around newly rehabilitated well in Jur River County.

The WFSS team in South Sudan has been preparing for the 2018-19 season since we ended the last season in May. Plans for 2018-19 include drilling 40 new wells, rehabilitating up to 50 older wells, and providing hygiene education in every village where we drill or rehab a well. We will also continue monitoring the pilot latrine project that was installed this year at Zogolona Primary School in Wau.

The rehab team got an early start this year, heading out in early October. As of November 1 they had already rehabbed 13 older wells, and provided hygiene education in all 13 villages. Older wells, while still producing water, often show signs of erosion and wear. The rehab team visits older WFSS wells to bring them up to new design standards. They make any necessary repairs and then rebuild the cement platform and drainage channel around the well, thus ensuring the well will have many more years of use.

In recent conversations with villagers whose wells were rehabbed we have learned more about the impact of our work. Aluel Wol Nuer was originally trained on well maintenance when a well was drilled in the village of Majama in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, and shared with us how much life has improved since the well was drilled in 2013.

 Clean water continues to flow from a rehabbed well in Bahr-Sherki in Western Bahr el Ghazal.

Clean water continues to flow from a rehabbed well in Bahr-Sherki in Western Bahr el Ghazal.

“My life was so bad before the WFSS team arrived in the village,” he said. “We used to drink unclean water which led to sickness. Distance was also quite long; sometimes we may get water, or we may not. People may also sleep on an empty stomach, due to lack of water.”

Sunday Emmnauel Kenyi of Sumut village in Warrap State also shared how hard life was.

“We did drink dirty water,” he recalled. “We were getting waterborne diseases when we used water from unprotected sources.”

Both villagers enthusiasitcally noted the positive impact on their lives and villages.

“I can see the changes in many areas,” said Wol Nuer.

Emmanuel Kenyi agreed. “My life has improved,” he said. “WFSS has helped with clean water. Now we can drink clean water which can make a good quality of life. Our animals are also enjoying water together with us since the well has been drilled.”

Villages where WFSS drilled before 2014 did not receive hygiene training when wells were installed, so a hygiene team now travels with the rehab team to help train villagers in improved hygiene practices.

Drilling Team Preparing for End of November Start

The drilling team requires more preparation to begin a new season, as many more supplies are needed for drilling new wells. WFSS Country Director Ater Akol Thiep is currently in Kampala, Uganda, buying pumps, pipes, and other supplies needed for new wells. Those materials will then be loaded on to trucks to be driven north to Wau, South Sudan. The current plan has the drilling team heading into the field by the end of November. The drilling team also has its own hygiene education team which help villages determine hygiene practices in need of improvement and then delivers village-specific training to help expand the impact of clean water.

The season will start with our older rig, the DR-150, as we await shipment of our new PAT drilling rigs, on their way from Thailand.

“We are very excited to have our new rigs delivered,” said Thiep. “A lot of hard work has gone into the research and planning for this. We look forward to our new and improved drilling rigs to help us drill even faster.”

Stay tuned for more news and updates from WFSS as the 2018-19 season continues. Thank you for your support!


WFSS Team Visits Drill Rig Manufacturer as "Iron Giraffe" is Built

WFSS sent an operations team to Bangkok in September to visit the factory where our new drilling rig, aka our “Iron Giraffe,” is being built.

Country Director Ater Akol Thiep, US Operations Support Coordinator Gary Prok, Assistant Driller David Tombe Pitia and Akoon Kuol Mawien, Mechanic in Training, visited the factory and headquarters of PAT Drilling in Bangkok, Thailand. The team was very pleased with all that they saw and learned and emphasized the value of the on-going relationship with a vendor that has extensive experience in drilling in general, and also with drilling in South Sudan.

The team met with PAT engineers and toured the manufacturing facility. They received additional hands-on training with various aspects of drilling, including use of compressor, mud pump assembly and hammer drilling. They also went to the field with the same model rig we are buying to see the rig in action and did were able to drill in the field as well.

“As a result of this visit the WFSS team will be implementing some process changes in our efforts to be continuously improving all that we do,” said WFSS Operations Support Coordinator Gary Prok. “Purchasing this new rig will help us improve the work we are doing in South Sudan, and support our goals of continuous improvement in South Sudan.”

The team looks forward to taking possession of the new rig in Wau, South Sudan, by the end of November, in time for the 2018-19 season.

WFSS thanks all of our sponsors, including the hundreds of schools, and thousands of students, who helped raise funds for our “Iron Giraffe” through the WFSS Iron Giraffe Challenge.

 

Our New "Iron Giraffe": WFSS Finalizes Drilling Rig Purchase

Funding a new “Iron Giraffe” to replace our tired drilling rig was at the forefront of WFSS’s Watering the Seeds of Change Capital Campaign, which raised $1.2 million for the drilling rig and other needed vehicles and drilling equipment and for technical training for our staff in South Sudan. The estimated cost of the drilling rig was $500,000. Through the Iron Giraffe Challenge, students across the world raised $511,166 for the new drilling rig – an astounding 42 percent of all campaign funds.

With the funding secured, WFSS’s operations team began their due diligence to find the drilling rig best suited to our needs at the best cost. The team worked tirelessly – working with our drilling team to pinpoint what is needed in a new rig, attending conferences to learn about the latest technology, and talking with drilling rig manufacturers about specs. PAT-drill was ultimately chosen as the vendor.

 Meet our new “Iron Giraffe” – the PAT-drill 501.

Meet our new “Iron Giraffe” – the PAT-drill 501.

Promotion of appropriate technology (PAT) is PAT-drill’s mission. They were very knowledgeable about the environment and conditions in South Sudan and were able to offer great advice on what is working best for their other clients drilling in South Sudan. PAT-drill designs and builds their rigs in Bankok, Thailand. They have a sales and service office in South Sudan where our team will have access to technical support. PAT-drill keeps their equipment lightweight – making it cheaper to buy, easier to transport, and less costly to operate.

As a result of the operations team’s rigorous process of identifying and choosing a vendor we came in way under the anticipated $500,000 budget. We are actually purchasing two drilling rigs at a cost of just under $400,000! We have ordered a large rig mounted on a truck, our new “Iron Giraffe,” and a smaller rig mounted on a trailer. The small rig will be used as back up for the large rig and for training our staff–The additional money raised for the rig will purchase vehicles needed for our new rehabilitation team, launched in 2017.

Salva, the Board of Directors, and our teams in the U.S. and South Sudan are grateful to everyone who contributed to the capital campaign, especially all of the teachers and students who worked so hard to help us to fund a new “Iron Giraffe.” You are making a difference to people in isolated villages who without a well would not have safe water.

WFSS Completes 2017-18 Season

WFSS is pleased to announce the completion of another successful season!

 Well drilled in Lol-Kou village in Aweil State

Well drilled in Lol-Kou village in Aweil State

Thank you to our team in South Sudan, and our donors around the world who support our work. Together, we are transforming lives in South Sudan, and helping to build a more sustainable future.

Our staff in South Sudan continues to grow, accomplishing more and positioning WFSS as a local leader in delivering WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) services. WFSS Country Directors Ater Akol “Lion” Thiep and Ajang “AJ” Agok managed another successful season with 40 new wells drilled; 28 older wells rehabilitated; hygiene education in 68 villages; and, the completion of our first-ever sanitation project.

 The DR-150 has been drilling since 2008.

The DR-150 has been drilling since 2008.

This season’s new wells were drilled using our 10 year-old DR-150 rig in Wau, Aweil and Aweil East States. The team accomplished this goal with the help of the rehab team, which functioned as a platform team. After a well was drilled, this freed up the drilling team to travel to the next location and continue drilling.

WFSS is in the process of purchasing its new drilling rig, aka “Iron Giraffe.” Read more here.

 

 Marko and Bantino received hygiene training in Majok Kuel village in Aweil State.

Marko and Bantino received hygiene training in Majok Kuel village in Aweil State.

TRANSFORMING LIVES, ONE VILLAGE AT A TIME

Mayiik Bol is a 32-year-old physically challenged man who lives in Yargot County, Aweil East State. He has five children, two of whom are also physically challenged. Mayiik is grateful to WFSS for helping his family and neighbors access safe clean drinking water. “After Water for South Sudan drilled a well, we can access water nearby. Family life has changed for the better as our water needs were resolved by availability of water.”

Deborah Awieu Deng said WFSS helped provide her family with safe clean drinking water. “Before the WFSS team came, life was so bad because we collected water from unprotected sources. This water was prone to causing diarrhea and typhoid. Distance to water sources was so long, sometimes you may fail to get water on time, which could result in sleeping without food and even without taking a bath. Our cattle were suffering with us too, because where we reach water was a two-three hours’ walk on foot. Some cattle got lost on the way back home because hyenas attacked them on the way.”

She thanks Water for South Sudan for coming to their rescue by providing safe clean drinking water. “The life of our livestock now is now more secure, and the WFSS hygiene team has played an important role in preventing water borne diseases.”

HYGIENE EDUCATION IMPROVES LIVES

Two WFSS Hygiene teams, overseen by WFSS Hygiene Manager Mathew Akuar Akuar, completed hygiene education in 68 villages- training eight people in each village that received a new well or rehabbed well.  The teams share information on how germs are spread, and instruct villagers in how to keep wells and jerry cans clean, helping to maximize the impact of clean water.

Mathiang Deng Mawiir noted how WFSS hygiene training is improving lives. “They helped me in how I should maintain my well, and helped me and my community with good hygiene practices. WFSS gave me sanitation knowledge where my main source of water will only be our new well, and safe disposal of feces. The WFSS hygiene team has played an important role in preventing water borne diseases. I would like to thank WFSS for a job well done.”

WFSS COMPLETES PILOT SANITATION PROJECT

 The Zogolona School community welcomed the opening of the new latrine.

The Zogolona School community welcomed the opening of the new latrine.

After careful assessment, the Zogolona Primary School in Wau was chosen as our site. The WFSS drilling team installed the first well of the 2017-18 season at the Zogolona School. Following this, the World Food Programme agreed to provide one meal a day for the 800 students at the school, providing essential nutrition for growing children.

WFSS broke ground on a latrine project in January. The project was managed by WFSS Country Director Ajang Agok, with guidance and oversight by US Operations Support Coordinator Gary Prok, and WFSS Board member Sue Coia. The US team received regular updates and photos of the project, assisting as needed as the construction progressed.

 Finished latrine building at zogolona school in wau.

Finished latrine building at zogolona school in wau.

The WFSS US Board and staff team visited in March and observed the project in progress, and met with school officials and local government officials, all of whom expressed deep gratitude for the project.  "We are grateful and give thanks to government and WFSS for your hard work," said Deputy Principal Garang John. "We wish you a safe journey back. We can now eat the sweet fruit of water which is life itself.  WFSS has done a great job. Keep up the spirit of what you have done. You will be in the history of Zogolona Primary School.  The community will stand strongly for fundraising to support the latrine for the future."

 

The project was completed in June, and the latrine was officially handed over to the school. WFSS will carefully monitor the school's upkeep and maintenance of the project to ensure they stay in compliance with the memorandum of understanding that the school signed with WFSS agreement. WFSS Country Director Ajang is optimistic about the future success of the latrine project. 

"This community is committed," says AJ. "They are so grateful for this latrine and will make sure it is sustainable into the future. Zogolona will qualify for more latrines if they sustain this one well."

WFSS US TEAM VISITS SOUTH SUDAN            

A US team of staff and board members visited South Sudan this spring to meet with government and NGO representatives, visit our team in Wau, and also traveled to the field to witness well drilling firsthand. Read Executive Director Lynn Malooly’s blog posts here.

 

 Board member anne turner, salva dut, executive director lynn malooly, board president glenn m. balch, jr., country director aj agok in juba.

Board member anne turner, salva dut, executive director lynn malooly, board president glenn m. balch, jr., country director aj agok in juba.

 

 

WE COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

Thank you to our contributors in all 50 US states and 49 other countries for enabling our work! With your help we are watering the seeds of change and transforming lives in South Sudan. We are already planning for the 2018-19 season and ask for your help in strengthening communities in South Sudan. There is so much we can do with your support.  Thank you.

Season Winding Down as Rainy Season Approaches

 community members in Mabil village in aweil east state celebrate a new well

community members in Mabil village in aweil east state celebrate a new well

The WFSS teams have had a successful season, and are now beginning to wind down as the rainy season approaches.

To date, the drilling team has drilled 36 new wells, and is on target to hit its goal of 44 new wells. The rehabilitation team has repaired 19 of our older wells, and is also on target, planning to repair 25 older wells. Our two hygiene teams have traveled with the drilling and rehab teams, helping communities improve hygiene practices. 

All of the teams are making their way back to our Operations Center in Wau, and will be able to continue their work as they travel. As the rainy season begins, the roads we use will soon become impassable.

We are looking forward to sharing updates on our almost-completed school sanitation project in Wau, where we are installing latrines at the Zogolona Primary School.

Thanks to our supporters around the world for supporting our work and helping to improve the lives of those we serve as we help to develop communities in South Sudan.

March News - 25 New Wells Drilled, Sanitation Construction Continues

While snow falls in many parts of the US, the temperatures in South Sudan are well over 100 degrees. Our team continues their work, persevering and conquering challenges as we work to transform lives in South Sudan.

 VILLAGERS IN Lueth-agok VILLAGE IN AWEIL EAST STATE CELEBRATE THEIR NEW WELl sponsored by king philip middle school in connecticut.

VILLAGERS IN Lueth-agok VILLAGE IN AWEIL EAST STATE CELEBRATE THEIR NEW WELl sponsored by king philip middle school in connecticut.

SOUTH SUDAN UPDATE
Our drilling and rehab teams have been working together to speed up the drilling process for the first part of the season, and have completed 25 wells as of March 14. The drilling team prepares and drills the wells, and is then able to move on to the next village. Meanwhile, the rehab team finishes the newly drilled well by installing the concrete platform. The rehab team will go off on their own in April to work on rehabilitating older wells in need of platform repair.

Our two hygiene teams travel along, one with the drilling team, and one with the rehab team, to deliver hygiene education in every village we visit.

This season, our Country Director, Ater Akol "Lion" Thiep will conduct the 2018 Monitoring and Evaluation of older wells this month, visiting 20 older wells to evaluate and report on their status.

PILOT SANITATION PROJECT
Water for South Sudan has been operating in the WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) sector for many years, focusing on water (new wells) since 2005, and hygiene education since 2014. This season, we have fully entered the WASH sector with our first pilot sanitation project.

 STUDENTS AT ZAGALONA PRIMARY SCHOOL, SITE OF WFSS'S PILOT SANITATION PROJECT, ENJOY FRESH WATER FROM THEIR NEW WELL, THE FIRST DRILLED IN THE 2017-18 SEASON.

STUDENTS AT ZAGALONA PRIMARY SCHOOL, SITE OF WFSS'S PILOT SANITATION PROJECT, ENJOY FRESH WATER FROM THEIR NEW WELL, THE FIRST DRILLED IN THE 2017-18 SEASON.

 

The project broke ground in January, at an elementary school near our compound in Wau. Progress continues, managed by WFSS Associate Country Director AJ Agok, in consultation with our US team in Rochester. The school and community celebrated the groundbreaking, and look forward to use of the new latrine this spring.

We look forward to bringing you more news and photos of this project as it continues.

THANK YOU!
Water for South Sudan is now supported by donors in all 50 US states, and 49 other countries, with Finland joining the fold this month. Thank you to all who support our work to strengthen families, communities, and the young nation of South Sudan.

Follow us on social media as we celebrate World Water Day on March 22. Truly, every day is World Water Day at WFSS.

2018 Season Continues - 16 Wells Completed

 Well drilled at Zagalona School in Wau.

Well drilled at Zagalona School in Wau.

The 2018 season continues and our team reports that they have now drilled 16 wells. The first well was drilled at the Zagalona Primary School near Wau. The other 15 wells have been drilled in the Aweil area.

The WFSS Hygiene Education team has conducted hygiene education in all of the villages where they installed wells in Aweil. The Zagalona School is also the site of our pilot sanitation project, installing six latrines in the school.  A full hygiene and sanitation training will be conducted when that project is complete.

The team reports that they are on track to drill at least 40 wells this season and look forward to supplying more people with access to fresh water. The rehab team is currently traveling with the drilling team, completing the platforms on the new wells, to help reach the goal of 40 wells this season. The rehab team will split off later this season to work on repairing older WFSS wells.

WFSS is pleased to be celebrating our 15th year since our founding! Read more on our Celebrating 15 Years Blog.

12 New Wells Already Completed This Season

 the first well of the 2017-18 season was drilled for the zagalona primary school in wau, site of wfss's pilot sanitation project.

the first well of the 2017-18 season was drilled for the zagalona primary school in wau, site of wfss's pilot sanitation project.

The WFSS season began in December, and teams are now in Aweil drilling new wells and providing hygiene education. Our teams are safe and able to continue our work, helping to transform lives in South Sudan.

As of January 30, 12 new wells have been drilled, and we have also broken ground on our pilot sanitation project, building latrines in a school. Read more about this season's progress here.

 

 

Drilling Season Update

 Breaking ground for a new latrine pilot at the Zagalona Primary School.

Breaking ground for a new latrine pilot at the Zagalona Primary School.

WFSS is pleased to announce the 2017-18 season has begun! Drilling has started and ground has been broken for the pilot sanitation project.

The drilling team is currently in the Aweil area, drilling and installing new wells. As of January 26, 10 new wells have been drilled.

We face challenges in all facets of this work. We've experienced some equipment challenges recently, and our team is hard at work addressing them. The drilling rig had a minor breakdown that was quickly repaired. Our compressors have also broken down. This has not stopped our work, and as the our team works on repairs, they are also exploring renting an additional compressor to complete the installation of new wells.

The WFSS rehab team, launched in 2017, is currently traveling with the drilling team to speed up the process of installing new wells. The rehab team plans to split off in February to begin its goal of rehabbing up to 50 of WFSS’s older wells, and the drilling team will resume total installation of the new wells.

Hygiene education is ongoing, with the WFSS hygiene teams continuing their “train the trainer” model of education in the villages. A hygiene team travels with both the drilling and rehab teams, so that WFSS can reach every village it visits to help improve hygiene practices.

Pilot Latrine Project in Wau

WFSS’s season officially began in December, with the construction of a well at the Zagalona Primary School near the WFSS Operations Center in Wau. This well was the first step in WFSS’s pilot sanitation project to install latrines in a school.  The Zagalona School serves approximately 800 students. Access to fresh water and latrines for students will help to increase health and attendance at the school.

 AJ with the community around Zagalona Primary School.

AJ with the community around Zagalona Primary School.

Ground breaking for the project began on January 3, with many in attendance, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure (Public Utility), the Parents and Teachers Association, the village chief, and the steering committee, head teachers and board of directors from the school, along with WFSS Associate Country Director AJ Agok and WFSS Sanitation Manager Rudolf Nyiyuo Kon.

AJ noted that the community members, government officials, and school representatives, including students, were “very happy, joyful, and grateful about the new latrine and well.”

“We received great speeches from various government representatives. The Ministry of Education urged the rest of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to work like Water for South Sudan. She also said that the education system would be highly improved if all the NGOs were operating like Water for South Sudan,” AJ remarked.

The representative from the school’s Parents and Teachers Association said they will remain supportive and collaborate with the school management to sustain the latrines. AJ noted WFSS was very glad to hear parents talk about sustainability.

 The first well of the season at Zagalona Primary School.

The first well of the season at Zagalona Primary School.

The village chief thanked WFSS and said he will never forget what WFSS has done for the school children to keep them healthy with hygiene and sanitation, and will fully support school management on sustainability of the latrines and well. “Thanks to WFSS and the donors who raised the money for Zagalona Primary school. We will sustain it,” said the chief. 

The head teacher was also very thankful and said he couldn’t wait to use the latrine first to set an example for everyone on how to use the latrine.  

“My students will no longer be late for classes since they have drinking water nearby. They will no longer go to the bush and squat there because there is a latrine now. If it wasn’t for Water for South Sudan they would not be able to achieve,” said head teacher Daniel Ajiek Madut.

WFSS Plans for Drilling, Rehab, Hygiene and Sanitation Projects in 2018

WFSS finished the 2016-17 season with a new total of 304 wells drilled since 2005. Planning for the next season began soon after. Starting with a review of the successes and challenges of the past season, our South Sudan Leadership Council, with support from the Rochester-based Operations Committee, began developing their plan for the upcoming season.

The team assessed and repaired vehicles and equipment as needed; they then prepared supply lists for all that is needed to drill new wells, rehabilitate older wells and provide hygiene education. Our Country Director Ater Akol Thiep is currently in Kampala, Uganda, purchasing pumps, pipes, casings and cement, and all the other supplies that we are unable to source in South Sudan. This is just one of the challenges we face, operating in the newest country in the world.

The WFSS team is in the final stages of preparation for the 2018 season, with plans to drill up to 40 new wells, rehabilitate up to 50 older wells, and bring hygiene education training to every village we visit.

Sanitation Project Plans

In addition, our team in South Sudan has been researching effective and sustainable sanitation solutions for South Sudan, with plans to install a pilot latrine project in a school. While the need for clean water often takes center stage, the lack of proper sanitation facilities in South Sudan is also a severe problem.

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals include Goal #6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. As UN Water reports, the benefits of having access to an improved drinking water source can only be fully realized when there is also access to improved sanitation and adherence to good hygiene practices. Beyond the immediate, obvious advantages of people being hydrated and healthier, access to water, sanitation and hygiene – known collectively as WASH – has profound wider socio-economic impacts, particularly for women and girls.

WFSS is looking to engage in this sector, and is working with local NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in South Sudan to understand the problem and implement workable solutions.

Thank you to our friends and supporters across the US and around the world, who enable our work. We could not do it without you, and we are deeply grateful for your support.

WFSS Planning for 2017-18 Season, Driven by Local Leadership

 WFSS managers and team members at start of 2016-17 season.

WFSS managers and team members at start of 2016-17 season.

The Water for South Sudan teams in South Sudan are busy planning for the upcoming 2017-18 season, set to start in November. We are pleased to be working with our local leadership team, led by Country Director Ater Akol Thiep and Associate Country Director Ajang Agok, who also chair our Leadership Council in South Sudan, comprised of our team managers. WFSS Founder Salva Dut also serves as Senior Advisor to both the Leadership Council, as well as our Board and staff in the US.

Plans this year include drilling up to 40 new wells, rehabilitating 40-50 older wells, providing hygiene education in every village we visit, and working on a pilot sanitation project to build latrines for a school.

Our operations center in South Sudan is in Wau, the second largest city in South Sudan. Our teams are safe there, and report to our staff and board in Rochester, NY on a daily basis.

To read more about upcoming plans for 2017-18, please visit our news page here.

Local Leadership Drives our Team in South Sudan

 WFSS Team at the start of the 2017 season

WFSS Team at the start of the 2017 season

Water for South Sudan (WFSS), established in 2003, has been working in South Sudan since 2005.  The safety and security of our team has been our number one priority since the beginning.

 

As of May, 2017 we have now drilled 304 wells, provided hygiene education to over 150,000 trainers, and have rehabilitated and repaired many wells-- our wells, and those drilled by others. This year we will pilot a school sanitation project. Our team is safe, secure, and planning for the future.

 

WFSS Led by Local Staff in South Sudan

Our team has been able to stay safe through our years of operation, and they remain safe today. Our US office is in constant contact with our South Sudan team, and receives daily security updates. Our team has many precautions in place to ensure their safety, as well as appropriate contingency and evacuation plans should they ever be needed.

One reason for our continued success, and ability to stay engaged, is our on-the-ground leadership team, started by our Founder, Salva Dut, and now continued by our Country Directors, Ater Thiep and Ajang Agok. They, along with our management team, support staff and seasonal employees are all South Sudanese. Our in-country team is able to connect with local and national government offices, and also monitor security issues.  They understand the culture, language and lifestyle of the country well and are guardedly hopeful about ongoing peace dialogues in the country.

Team Members and Their Families Safe in Wau

 wfss country director, and former "lost boy," ater akol thiep.

wfss country director, and former "lost boy," ater akol thiep.

Mathew Akuar Akuar, our Hygiene Manager and Assistant Drilling Manager reports that his family is in Wau, the second largest city in South Sudan, and home to our operations center. He notes, "My family feels safe in Wau. There is no fear and business people are running their work normally."

Country Director Ater Akol Thiep agrees. He notes that Wau is currently one of the safest area in South Sudan, given its strategic location, and that the national dialogue initiative between the government and rebels is being held in Wau, and "that is why my brothers, sisters, and cousins are staying here with me."

Thiep further explains, "WFSS donors need to understand that the WFSS team values their lives and equipment very much, and if the security situation is not good, it will be their responsibility to stop work and evacuate our staff and equipment immediately to safety.

"But now we really feel good about the situation in South Sudan in general and Wau area in particular. Now over twenty NGO's (non-governmental organizations) are still operating in Wau and none of them have asked for evaluation because they know that the situation here is normal. But we also know that there are some parts in the country which are not safe, and we will try to avoid those areas until we are sure of the safety."                                                                                 


Water, Sanitation, Hygiene is the First Step in Development

 WFSS Founder Salva Dut

WFSS Founder Salva Dut

We remain hopeful that the young nation of South Sudan can grow and develop. Bringing access to fresh water, hygiene education and sanitation can be a huge first step. Once villages have a stable source of water they can look to next steps, which include establishing local markets, health clinics and schools. Education is vitally important if South Sudan is to grow and develop.

WFSS Founder Salva Dut explains, "The main key for a peaceful South Sudan is to educate the next generation.  Young people understand the meaning of the peace. Providing education helps to keep watering the elements to ensure our future. Keeping young people healthy by providing clean drinking water is the first step."

Hope for the future

Salva explains that he is still hopeful for the future of South Sudan, and, as a dual US-South Sudanese citizen, he reaches into his US history for reasons why.

"The United States went through many wars and Americans were still hopeful and didn't give up. They went through the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and others, and America today has prosperity. The civil war of South Sudan will stop some day and the people there will be living in peace and happiness."

 

Planning for 2017-18 Season

Our team has spent the summer debriefing on the past season, and planning for the next one. Plans include drilling up to 40 new wells, rehabilitating 40-50 older wells, providing hygiene education training in every village we visit, and constructing a pilot sanitation project in a school. 

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