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.

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.

The Importance of Sanitation for All, Especially Children

After seeing the success of our hygiene education program, Water for South Sudan plans to launch a pilot sanitation program next year. Sanitation is defined as “the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces." Sanitation differs from hygiene in that it provides the means for people to be hygienic. Hygiene is the ability to participate in “conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease."  

The WFSS Hygiene Program has helped South Sudanese villagers learn the importance of maintaining good hygiene by changing behaviors such as hand-washing. Our hygiene team helps villages identify hygiene practices in need of improvement, and helps create a plan to move forward. We have seen how improved hygiene practices can help extend the impact of clean water. Now, it is time for WFSS to take the next step and develop sanitation programs for the people we serve.

Sanitation is important for all, helping to maintain health and increase life-spans. However, it is especially important for children. Around the world, over 800 children under age five die every day from preventable diarrhea-related diseases caused by lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. In addition, diarrhea causes children to lose their appetites, which can lead to malnourishment. Limited access to sanitation has become such a worldwide problem that 1 in every 4 children suffer from stunted growth. This leads to “irreversible physical and cognitive damage."

UNICEF/UNI180146/MataS

UNICEF/UNI180146/MataS

Developing a sanitation program in South Sudan is the logical next step for WFSS and will enable us to fully move into the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector, and will help build better health for those we serve.

Our plans for 2017 include a pilot sanitation project, most likely at a school. Improved sanitation can help maintain school attendance through latrine facilities like this one pictured below. This facility was constructed by UNICEF in Lohanosy, Madagascar, outside of the Lohanosy Primary School.

Sanitation is a vital piece of health and development around the world. The WFSS sanitation program will help address access to health and education in the world’s newest country.

Please join us in helping to bring access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation. To donate, please visit our donate page

 

World Toilet Day is November 19

World Toilet Day is a day to take action. It is a day to raise awareness about all people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation. It is a day to do something about it.

Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.4 billion people do not have improved sanitation. 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children.

We cannot accept this situation. Sanitation is a global development priority. This is why in 2013 the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and relevant stakeholders.

 Improving sanitation and hygiene is one of the most crucial steps towards supporting better nutrition and improved health. In addition, investments in sanitation benefit women.

Check out the blog post on The link between gender equality and sanitation. post  by Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Group Senior Director for Water and Caren Grown, World Bank Group Senior Director for Gender. The blog originally appeared in Thomson Reuters Foundation.  

WFSS Urges Passage of Water for the World Act

Dusty Boy.jpg

Water for South Sudan fully supports the Water for the World Act of 2013 and urges passage of the bill before the end of this session of Congress. The bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and will head to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Dec. 4.

"Water for the World will significantly improve access to clean water and sanitation, and help to improve life for millions of people around the world, without spending additional funds," says Water for South Sudan President Dr. Glenn M. Balch, Jr.

Nearly 800 million people lack access to clean water. 2.5 billion people worldwide live without access to proper sanitation. Every day, women and girls spend a combined 200 million hours collecting water, keeping them from school, work and family. Water for the World elevates water, sanitation and hygiene programs and leverages the impact of other development assistance, ensuring that they are targeted to help the world's poorest people, and are more effective, with long-term, sustainable impacts. Water for the World does not propose new or costly programs. It proposed to use current funds more effectively. 

Read more about the Water for the World Act here.

Please contact your legislators here and urge them to support this important legislation!