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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WFSS Seeks Lead Mechanic in South Sudan

Join our team in South Sudan!

Join our team in South Sudan!

WFSS seeks full time employees who would like to learn and grow with the organization. We are currently seeking a full time lead mechanic for our Operations Center in Wau Town. The lead mechanic will be responsible for general mechanical work, repairing and maintaining cars, trucks, drilling rigs, compressors, and generators.

Applicants must be South Sudanese citizens with at least two years’ experience as a mechanic with an International or National NGO, and must present a letter of recommendation from a former employer.

Application deadline is September 15, 2017. For a list of requirements, and information on applying, please see job posting here.

WFSS Seeks Lead Mechanic in Wau

WFSS is currently seeking a full time lead mechanic for its Operations Center in Wau. The lead mechanic will be responsible for general mechanical work, repairing and maintaining cars, trucks, and generators.


Applicant must be a South Sudanese citizen with at least two years’ experience as a mechanic with an International or National NGO, and must present a letter of recommendation from a former employer.

Applicant must have a basic understanding of diesel and gasoline engines.

Applicant must be fluent in English and able to communicate with US personnel in English, including technical description of problems, parts, and tools, and without needing the assistance of additional South Sudan management/staff.

For the full job description, all requirements, and application information, please see job description here.

WFSS Team is Safe in Wau

WFSS continues to monitor the news out of South Sudan, and is in daily contact with our team at our Operations Center in Wau. The team is safe and has not been in any danger.  We are deeply concerned about the events in South Sudan and urge all leaders to work for peace in South Sudan.

As we do each summer, we are currently planning for the upcoming 2016-17 season, which will include drilling new wells, providing hygiene education and rehabbing the cement platforms on some of our older wells. We are also researching a pilot sanitation project which we are planning to launch in the next year.

We will continue to post updates on the website, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Students Raise $35,000 to Benefit WFSS

port chester  middle school students present a check for $25,000 to wfss board member jack mckelvey (far right) as part of their lead2feed award.

port chester  middle school students present a check for $25,000 to wfss board member jack mckelvey (far right) as part of their lead2feed award.

Our student supporters across the US and around the world continue to amaze us with their passion, enthusiasm and results in raising funds for Water for South Sudan (WFSS).

One of the most recent outstanding efforts comes to us from Port Chester, NY where students at Port Chester Middle School helped raise $35,000 for WFSS.

Inspired by A Long Walk to Water, the New York Times bestseller by Linda Sue Park, the students raised $10,000 in 10 weeks and also won a grand prize in the national Lead2Feed Challenge, an annual contest sponsored by Lead2Feed. The award brought another $25,000 to donate to WFSS, for a total of $35,000 which will fund two full water wells to be named for Port Chester Middle School. Lead2Feed is a leadership program that nurtures a new generation of leaders while working to end hunger or meet another need in their communities.

Students in Allison Silverman’s eight grade leadership classes came up with the project, as part of the annual Lead2Feed Challenge, after reading A Long Walk to Water, which is required for all seventh graders in New York State. They decided to develop a project to help fight the global water crisis. Naming their project PC Hydration Nation they set out to encourage every student in the school to donate $10 over a span of two and a half months.

About 2,400 schools submitted projects to the challenge, which required them to go through three rounds of judges . Port Chester Middle School was named one of six grand prize winners, earning them $25,000 to be donated to the nonprofit of their choice (WFSS), as well as $10,000 worth of technology—they chose iPads—to the middle school.

Teacher Allison Silverman noted that her students went far beyond what she had expected. “This was one of the greatest accomplishments of my career,” she said.

Read more about Port Chester’s award and the Lead2Feed Challenge here.

WFSS Seeks Applicants for South Sudan Operations Center Positions

WFSS Director of field operations, ater thiep, wfss founder salva dut AT WFSS WELL AT WFSS OPERATIONS CENTER IN WAU.

WFSS Director of field operations, ater thiep, wfss founder salva dut AT WFSS WELL AT WFSS OPERATIONS CENTER IN WAU.

Water for South Sudan seeks qualified applicants for two positions at our Operations Center in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan.  

Open positions are for Finance and Office Administrator and Operations Center Manager.  Applicants must have qualified educational and/or work experience. WFSS is an equal opportunity employer. South Sudanese women are encouraged to apply.

WFSS drills water wells and provides hygiene education in remote villages of South Sudan. Founded in 2003, we have been drilling borehole wells since 2005, and have now drilled 250 wells. Our mission statement is as follows: Water for South Sudan delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene practices in areas of great need.

To see job description, and for information on applying, see job descriptions for Finance and Office Administrator and Operations Center Manager

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WFSS Seeks Interns for Drilling Crew

Drilling team 2014.jpg

WFSS drilling crew completed 40 new wells in 2014. We are looking for new interns to join our team!Water for South Sudan seeks interested and motivated South Sudanese to work as interns on our drilling crew for the upcoming drilling season, December, 2014 until May, 2015.   WFSS is particularly interested in those with electrical, mechanical or drilling experience.

Applicants must have a valid passport, be in good health, and have fluency in English and local language.

Application deadline is November 15, 2014.  For more information, and to apply, please click here.