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.

Water for South Sudan Receives $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

Water for South Sudan (WFSS) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to Water for South Sudan was made by Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to the empowerment of individuals.

The grant to WFSS will be used to rehabilitate several of its older wells and to provide hygiene training in villages. In 2015, WFSS conducted an evaluation of 80 of its earliest drilled wells. The wells were all found to be operational and the water was safe. However, there was a consistent issue with broken cement platforms around the wells. In 2016, WFSS’s operations team studied the problem and possible solutions. The cement platform was redesigned and the design was tested and subsequently refined.

An example of a well before and after the rehab process.

An example of a well before and after the rehab process.

In 2017, WFSS launched its rehabilitation team. The rehab team travels to wells drilled in WFSS’s early years to repair the cement platforms, upgrading them to the new design standard. WFSS did not begin providing hygiene education in villages until 2014. Therefore, each village where a well was drilled prior to 2014 will also receive hygiene training.  WFSS’s hygiene education program follows a “train the trainer” model. Village representatives are trained in best practices and they then go out to train the rest of the villagers.

“Rehabilitation of our older wells and hygiene education program are both crucial to the sustainability of the wells that we drill,” said WFSS Executive Director Lynn Malooly, “we are grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for their recognition of the importance of this work and for their generous grant to help us to get it done.”

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.

2017-18 Season Has Begun!

a student at zogolona primary school tests first well of 2017-18 season.

a student at zogolona primary school tests first well of 2017-18 season.

The Water for South Sudan drilled the first well of the 2017-18 season for the Zogalona Primary School near Wau and the WFSS Operations Center.

The WFSS team has been meeting with staff at the Zogalona school to explore the possibility of installing a latrine pilot project. The school is eager to have a small latrine pilot, but first they needed a well.

WFSS Associate Country Director Ajang Agok led the team and is pleased to have the first well completed so early in the season. The team is looking into drilling another well for a school near Wau before they head north to Aweil for the bulk of the 2017-18 season, where they will also focus on schools needing wells.

The WFSS rehab team, formed in 2017, will join the drilling team for the first month of drilling, doing the finishing work of installing the well platforms, allowing the drilling team to go on ahead to the next village well site. After the first month the rehab team will focus on its work of repairing the well platforms and drainage channels of some of WFSS's older wells, to ensure their continued use and sustainability.

the long drainage channel from the wfss well directs run-off from the well to a drinking pool for animals, far removed from the well head.

the long drainage channel from the wfss well directs run-off from the well to a drinking pool for animals, far removed from the well head.

The WFSS Hygiene Education teams travel with the drilling and rehab teams, providing hygiene education in every village we serve. Plans for 2017-18 include drilling up to 40 new wells, repairing up to 50 older wells, and providing hygiene education training in up to 90 villages.

As WFSS enters its 15th year we look to grow and develop our operations as we continue to serve the people of South Sudan. We thank our donors across the US and around the world who enable our work.

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.

"Our Hands, Our Future": Global Handwashing Day Celebration in South Sudan

Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on October 15th. The celebration is meant to raise awareness to how vital good handwashing habits are for all people, and bring more understanding to practices of handwashing around the world.

Global Handwashing Day is designed to:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap

This year's theme was "Our Hands, Our Future."

Water for South Sudan was pleased to participate in the celebration in Wau, where our South Sudan Operations Center is based. WFSS Hygiene Manager Mathew Akuar attended and shared photos of the celebration.

Many NGOs and government institutions participated in the event, including: WFSS, Red Cross, IOM, UNICEF, WHO, OXFAM GB, and Malteser International. Several government ministers and other distinguished guests were also invited.

Other invited guests included students and teachers from a variety of different schools who presented drama and songs related to promotion of hygiene in South Sudan. The main event of the celebration was a hand-washing demonstration.

Representatives from NGOs WASH Cluster and Government delivered speeches, and gifts of soap were given to all the participating schools.

WFSS Hygiene Manager Mathew Akuar also shared WFSS hygiene success stories, noting that villagers are happy to receive the training, and improve the life and health of their villages. He said that they sometimes use drama and acting to share hygiene messages, which helps the people remember concepts. 

Mathew notes that the lessons they teach to communities are very specific. “The first topic is the practical part, that they understand the meaning of hygiene. We gather and show tools like a clean cup, a clean saucepan, soap to clean hands, nail cutter to cut finger nails when they’re dirty, and a toothbrush to brush teeth.”

He notes that for the practical part of cutting finger nails, they need to show that “before you cut you have to show the dirt underneath the finger nails. They see the long finger nails fall down and some of them laugh because they see how dirty and that they were in a very bad place. Our country is independent but this was the first time they are hearing these things, and they say thank you for what you did.”

WFSS has been providing hygiene education and training to the villages we serve since 2014.  WFSS works with villagers to identify hygiene practices in need of improvement, then works to train the trainers (four men and four women in each village) who can then train others.

WFSS now has two hygiene education teams, one traveling with our drilling team, and one with our new well rehab team. We have now provided hygiene training in 158 villages, with plans for to conduct training in 90 more villages in 2018.

 

WFSS Drills 300th Well in South Sudan!

Water for South Sudan reached a significant milestone last week with the drilling of our 300th well. Starting with our first well, drilled in Founder Salva Dut's village in 2005, we have not stopped in our mission to bring access to clean water in South Sudan. Despite continuing challenges in South Sudan, our work continues, and we continue to transform lives.

Water for South Sudan's 2017 season is winding down as the end of the dry season approaches in May. Once the rainy season starts in earnest our vehicles are not able to travel through the muddy "roads" of South Sudan. Until the rains come, however, our drilling, rehab and hygiene teams will continue to reach remote, rural villages in need of clean water and hygiene education.

well sponsored by employees of hmh, publishers of  a long walk to water.

well sponsored by employees of hmh, publishers of a long walk to water.

Our drilling team, led by "A.J" Agok, our Assistant Country Director, has drilled 19 new wells this season, bringing our total to over 300 wells drilled since 2005. Each new well brings greater health and stability to a village. Access to clean water means that girls and women no longer have to walk miles to gather water that is often dirty and contaminated. A well in a village can be the first step toward stability and development. Markets, schools and clinics can grow up in a village that has access to water.

Our pilot well rehabilitation team, led by WFSS Country Director Ater Thiep, has had a very successful year, going over their original goal of rehabilitating 20 of our oldest wells, and has repaired 26 wells as of April 24, 2017. The creation of the rehab team grew out of our 2015 well evaluation trip in which we were able to visit 80 of our wells. While we found that all wells were operational and producing fresh water, we also found that the cement platforms on some of the oldest wells were worn and eroded. This prompted a look at our procedures, and led to an improvement on many aspects. Our rehab team reports that villagers are very pleased with the results.

an older well, before wfss rehab's work. see below for repaired well!

an older well, before wfss rehab's work. see below for repaired well!

Both the drilling team and rehab team are using a new design this year, which includes better cement mixing for the cement platforms and animal drinking troughs. Our US Operations Team designed a long narrow drinking trough, leading away from the well head, for animals to drink. This allows villagers to get water for their animals without adding more wear and tear on the cement, and also keeps the animals away from the well head. Other NGOs in South Sudan have been interested in our new design and have given us positive feedback on its efficiency.

villagers celebrate repaired well, ensuring a future with access to fresh water

villagers celebrate repaired well, ensuring a future with access to fresh water

In addition to drilling and rehab, we now have two hygiene education teams, one each traveling with the drilling and rehab teams, helping to improve hygiene practices in every village we visit.

WFSS strives to involve community members, and give local ownership in everything we do. Wells are installed after consulting with county officials, and village elders determine final placement of the wells. Hygiene education addresses the specific needs of a village, training four men and four women in each village. These villagers can then train others, helping to share education which improve health, hygiene, and the impact of clean water.

The 2017 season will be coming to a close soon. Once this season ends we will debrief with our team and begin plans for the next season.

South Sudan faces many challenges, but our teams are safe and able to do their work. We are in continual contact with them and are always assessing the safety and security both in the country, and in the areas in which we work. Our team assures us that our work can continue. 

Water for South Sudan thanks all of our supporters, across the US and around the world, who enable our work.

WFSS Teams Carry on in Mission to Bring Access to Fresh Water

The WFSS Drilling Team, Rehab Team, and their two accompanying Hygiene Education Teams, are continuing their work for the 2017 season, bringing access to clean water in South Sudan. All WFSS teams are safe and able to do their work, and report that people are going about their daily business in the areas around our Operations Center in Wau.

As of April 24, WFSS has now drilled 18 new wells, for a new total of 300 wells drilled since 2005! Our pilot Rehab Team has repaired 26 of our oldest wells and replaced cracked and broken concrete platforms with a new and improved composition and design, leading to even greater sustainability.

Our Hygiene Education program has also continued, with two dedicated team now traveling with our drilling and rehab teams.

We are in frequent contact with our South Sudan team members, who in turn stay apprised of all developments in South Sudan through contact with government and security officials, and NGO and other non-profit organizations.

Water for South Sudan continues to advocate for peace and development through our work. Our United Peace and Development Project (UPDP) with Aqua-Africa continues, with plans for two additional wells to be drilled this season, to add to the 12 wells drilled previously.

More Fresh Water Flowing in South Sudan as 2017 Season Continues

the third well of the season was sponsored by lewis m. myers elementary school in bellwood, pa.

the third well of the season was sponsored by lewis m. myers elementary school in bellwood, pa.

The 2017 drilling season continues as WFSS helps bring access to fresh water and hygiene education in South Sudan.

The drilling team, led by Ajang "AJ" Agok, has now drilled eight wells. This year they are focusing on providing water for schools, with plans to drill up to 40 new wells.

Our rehab team, led by Ater "Lion" Thiep, has already repaired ten of our oldest wells. This pilot project was driven by our 2015 evaluation of wells which showed that older cement platforms were in need of repair. We have strengthened our cement mixing process and improved the design of the platform, and the channel that leads from the well head to the drinking pool for animals. They plan to repair up to 20 of our older wells, and then may be able to join the drilling team to help them reach their targeted number of wells.

Traveling alongside each of these teams is a hygiene education team which helps villagers improve hygiene practices. The WFSS teams train eight trainers (four men and four women) in each village who then can train others. The educators teach about how germs spread, how to keep water containers clean, and also help to identify hygiene behaviors in need of improvement, all of which help to expand the impact of clean water.

The 2017 got off to a later start than usual, but crews are working hard to make our goals for the season. The WFSS teams continue to monitor the situation in South Sudan, and are in constant contact with our board and staff in Rochester, New York. The team has assured us of their safety, and report that they are able to conduct operations without impediment.

WFSS team members in South Sudan are in contact with local NGOs in Wau, home of our operations center, and continue to explore ways in which we can work with other NGOs in the area. We will continue discussions and possibilities to be of help in refugee camps for IDPs (internally displaced persons) in the area.

The entire WFSS organization is committed to the future of South Sudan, and supports all efforts to resolve conflict and bring peace to this young country.

Photos from start of 2017 season

Work Continues in South Sudan- 6 New Wells & 6 Rehabbed Wells

WFSS drilling team with first well of 2017.

WFSS drilling team with first well of 2017.

The WFSS teams are continuing their work in South Sudan, bringing access to clean water and hygiene education to those in need.

As of February 28, the WFSS Drilling Team had completed five new wells, and was finishing the sixth. This year the drilling team is focusing on drilling wells in school areas.

The WFSS Rehab Team, a new pilot program this year, has completed the rehabilitation of five of our oldest wells. Our 2015 well evaluation project showed us that some of the oldest wells needed to have the cement platforms surrounding the wells repaired. The new rehab team has set out to repair these wells to our newer design specifications. WFSS is now using a stronger cement mixture for all well platforms, and has also lengthened the channel leading from the pumps down to the drinking pools for animals.

This year we have two hygiene education teams in the field, traveling with both drilling and rehab teams, where they work with villagers to identify hygiene practices in need of improvement.

Although the news out of South Sudan continues to show the struggles of the new nation, with famine declared in two counties in Unity State, WFSS has been able to continue our operations. We are in regular contact with our teams who report that they are safe, and able to travel and continue regular operations.

Thank you to all of our supporters around the world who enable our work. 

We will continue to update you on the progress of this season. Please check back here for regular updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the WFSS email news here.

 

Handwashing Saves Lives

Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 

Celebrated annually on October 15 since 2008, Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

Global Handwashing Day is designed to:

  • Foster and support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap
  • Shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing around the world
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap

Source:  http://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/about-ghd/

The 2016 Global Handwashing Day theme was “Make Handwashing a Habit!” 

In South Sudan, Global Hand-Washing Day was celebrated at Muktah Primary School, near WFSS’s Operations Center in Wau. T-shirts and caps designed by UNICEF in partnership with the government were distributed.

The celebration was opened with words of prayers from the Bible and Quran, presented by Christian and Muslim students.

Many NGOs and government institutions participated, including: WFSS, Red Cross, IOM, UNICEF, WHO, OXFAM GB, Meltaster International. Several government ministers and
other distinguished guesses were also invited.

Other invited guesses included students and teachers from 10 different schools who presented drama and songs related to promotion of hygiene in South Sudan. The main event of the celebration a hand-washing demonstration.

Representatives from NGOs WASH Cluster and Government delivered speeches, and gifts of soap were given to all the participating schools.

WFSS Sanitation Manager David Majok attended the event and reported that “It was fantastic for WFSS to be part of this event!”

 

WFSS Team Preparing for 2016-17 Season

The Water for South Sudan team is busy preparing for the upcoming season, our 13th!!

Our Leadership Council, led by Country Director Ater Akol Thiep ("Lion"), and Ajang Agok (AJ), have been working with our US based Director of Operations to secure all the supplies needed for drilling, rehabilitation and hygiene education. We anticipate starting the season in late December or early January.

The drilling team, led this year by AJ, plans to drill up to 40 new wells. Plans include up to five additional wells for our United Peace and Development Project (UPDP) with Aqua-Africa. This joint project has already drilled 12 new wells in different tribal areas.  We are also working with Aqua-Africa to develop an additional component of peace and reconciliation talks for the villages in which we drill. Some of these wells could be in repatriation areas, where people of different tribal backgrounds are returning home, after having fled for safety. The installation of a well can serve as a starting point for conversations to help air grievances and resolve disputes, leading to greater peace and stability.

Lion will lead our well rehabilitation team as they work on repairing and strengthening the cement platforms of up to 20 new wells, in response to the findings of our 2015 well evaluation survey. The improved well design is now being implemented on all new wells too.

Mathew Akuar, WFSS Hygiene Team Manager, is preparing for two hygiene teams this year-- one to travel with the drilling team, and one to travel with the rehab team. Hygiene education is a vital piece of our work, and ensures that clean water stays clean, and that the impact of fresh water goes as far as possible.

In addition, WFSS is in the early stages of researching a pilot sanitation project, to provide latrines in a school. Sanitation is a vital piece of WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) work, and helps improve lives in so many ways.

WFSS thanks all of our supporters for enabling our work as we water the seeds of change in South Sudan. Please check back here for updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for email updates