WFSS Celebrates World Humanitarian Day and World Photo Day

"World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk."
— UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

WFSS joins the global community in marking World Humanitarian Day. We honor all those who work to aid the suffering in our world. We especially honor our team in South Sudan, who work tirelessly to improve processes and impact as we work to bring access to clean water and hygiene education in the world's newest country.

 

As we also mark World Photo Day, here are some photos of our team members in South Sudan. Today, and ever day, we salute you!

Views on the Peace Process and South Sudan's Way Forward

 South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) and South Sudan's rebel commander Riek Machar exchange documents after signing a ceasefire agreement during the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit on the case of South Sudan in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa,. REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) and South Sudan's rebel commander Riek Machar exchange documents after signing a ceasefire agreement during the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit on the case of South Sudan in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa,. REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI

WFSS joined the world in celebrating the independence of South Sudan on July 11, 2011, and also watched in dismay as conflict erupted in December of 2013. Since then the peace process has been a series of deals, cease-fires and broken agreements.

A recent editorial in the New York Times stresses that the only way for peace to last is for the US and United Nations to apply continued pressure on the South Sudanese. During President Obama's recent trip to East Africa he stressed the importance of holding South Sudan, and its neighbors, accountable in maintaining peace in South Sudan. Read the full editorial, A Peace Plea for South Sudan for more.

In another op-ed, appearing in The Daily Beast, Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast writes that the biggest obstacle to peace in South Sudan is the nature of the state itself. Prendergast notes that the only way that lasting peace will hold is to dismantle the violent kleptocracy that has become the norm. In its short life as a nation, governing institutions have been hijacked for personal enrichment and advancement by rival factions of military and civilian officials. Prendergast also notes the need for continued pressure from the US to root out corruption. He also urges a search for the assets that have been stolen so that they may be returned to the South Sudanese people. Read the full essay, Saving South Sudan from Kleptocracy.

Finally, James Copnall, a South Sudan analyst, talks about the obstacles facing the South Sudan peace process in South Sudan: Obstacles to a lasting peace. He notes five obstacles, including the leaders, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the terms of the deal, the involvement of South Sudan's regional neighbors, possible lack of unity on both sides of the conflict, and, deepening ethnic animosity among a people who have hardly known anything but war.

Continued pressure and attention from regional neighbors, and the world community are clearly needed to move the peace process along. The world's newest nation is still learning how to walk, and requires the aid and assistance of those who helped bring it to birth, to help it grow into a sustainable country, able to support itself.  

Here at Water for South Sudan, we continue to monitor what's happening in South Sudan and share perspectives from a variety of sources both in that country and elsewhere. Our South Sudan team also helps to keep us informed. To date, the unrest in the country has not affected their ability to carry out operations.

 

 

 

Amid Conflict, Uniting for Peace through Development

As the world marks the one-year anniversary of conflict in South Sudan, Water for South Sudan, Inc. and Aqua-Africa, two US-based nonprofits, are working together to bring clean water to remote villages in South Sudan. The organizations are each led by dual US-South Sudanese citizens of different tribal heritages. They are working together not as tribal members, but as South Sudanese, united to transform the lives of their fellow citizens, and to bring peace to this young nation through development.

 First well of the WFSS 2014-15 drilling season, drilled for updp. two more wells are planned in december,, and at least three more in 2015.

First well of the WFSS 2014-15 drilling season, drilled for updp. two more wells are planned in december,, and at least three more in 2015.

Salva Dut, a former “Lost Boy” of Sudan and founder of Water for South Sudan (WFSS) and Buey Ray Tut, born in what was then Southern Sudan and founder of Aqua-Africa (A-A), both became US citizens and founders of US nonprofits working in South Sudan.  They are also from different tribes, which have a history of conflict.

Salva and Buey, and their organizations, have come together to drill water wells in South Sudan, and show, by their partnership, how to work together to make a difference and build a nationThe joint project is called The United Peace and Development Project (UPDP).  The first four wells were drilled in February and March of this year.  Three more wells will be drilled this month, and an additional three will be drilled in March of 2015. Wells are being installed in both Dinka and Nuer territory.

“We are dedicated to our nation,” says Buey, who is from the Nuer tribe. “We are trying to make our country a better place.”    Salva, from the Dinka tribe, agrees. “We need peace in our country,” says Salva.  “We want to show people how we can all work together.”

Both nonprofits work to bring clean water to people who often walk miles each day to gather water that is often dirty and diseased.  Water for South Sudan has drilled 218 wells since 2005, serving over 500,000 people. WFSS works with local villages to determine need and placement of wells, and trains villagers to use and maintain the well that becomes the property of the village.  WFSS is supported by donors in all 50 US States and 18 foreign countries.

Aqua-Africa, established in 2008, partners with local drilling contractors to drill water wells, and also conducts workshops in resource management to help local villages manage their water supply.  Aqua-Africa has drilled 10 wells to date, serving 8,000 people.

South Sudan, which became independent from the Republic of Sudan in July, 2011 is the world’s newest nation.  It has seen renewed violence since December, 2013, with unrest that has stirred up old rivalries between different tribes.  Peace talks in South Sudan are ongoing, supported by the UN and neighboring nations.