WFSS Prepares for 13th Season

 WFSS team at planning meeting in kampala. 

WFSS team at planning meeting in kampala. 

When one season ends, the WFSS team begins planning for the next. Plans are well underway for WFSS's 13th season, set to start in early January.

When we finished the 2015-16 season in May, the South Sudan team in Wau, supported by our Director of Operations, Board members and staff in Rochester, NY, immediately began planning for this coming season. Team members reviewed design improvements and discussed ways to help villagers protect wells and prolong sustainability. Discussions included ways to include fencing or other protections around the wells. Improvements will be implemented this season, both for new wells, and for rehabilitating older wells

 wfss country director ater thiep, hygiene manager mathew akuar and assistant country director aj agok with loaded supply truck in kampala

wfss country director ater thiep, hygiene manager mathew akuar and assistant country director aj agok with loaded supply truck in kampala

Preparing for the upcoming season also includes substantial logistics to ensure our teams have all the supplies they need to drill and rehabilitate wells and provide hygiene education. The South Sudan Management Team, including Country Director Ater "Lion" Thiep, Assistant County Director Ajang "AJ" Agok, are currently in Kampala, Uganda, where they are procuring necessary supplies for drilling and rehabilitation of wells. The supplies will then be trucked north to South Sudan in time to start drilling in early January. In addition, WFSS has recently sent a large shipping container from Rochester, NY with additional supplies that are best obtained in the US.

In addition to drilling new wells, WFSS's new rehab team will begin visiting some of our oldest wells to perform repairs as needed, and bring wells up to new design specifications. WFSS will continue our hygiene education with two hygiene teams. Teams will help villagers improve hygiene practices  in every village in which we drill, and in every village in which we rehabilitate a well. Research plans are also continuing into a possible sanitation project.

WFSS also plans to continue the success of our United Peace and Development Project (UPDP) with Omaha, Nebraska- based Aqua-Africa. The UPDP plan includes more wells. We are also exploring ways to include peace and reconciliation talks in areas where we will drill UPDP wells.

Thanks to our supporters from across the US and around the world we are able to continue in our mission to transform lives in South Sudan.

WFSS Continues to Transform Lives & Water the Seeds of Change in South Sudan

WFSS Team & United Peace & Development Project Provide 23 New Wells in 2016. 282 Wells Drilled Since 2005.

 WFSS IS SUPPORTED BY DONORS IN ALL 50 US STATES, AND 32 OTHER COUNTRIES.

WFSS IS SUPPORTED BY DONORS IN ALL 50 US STATES, AND 32 OTHER COUNTRIES.

WFSS is pleased to announce the conclusion of another successful season. We continue to make progress in every way-- improving design and delivery of services, developing our employees both in the US and South Sudan, which all leads to greater sustainability for the organization, and the work that we do, and enables us to better serve the people of South Sudan. 

The WFSS  team was able to drill 20 new wells, and our United Peace and Development Project with Aqua-Africa added an additional three wells for a season total of 23 new wells. Since 2005, WFSS has provided 282 wells in remote villages in South Sudan.

As our number of wells drilled, and people served, grows, so do the supporters around the world who enable our work. With the recent addition of Cambodia, we are pleased to announce that 32 countries, in addition to the US, support WFSS.

As our South Sudan and US operations teams work to always improve our processes, they also strive to make better use of time and resources. When the start of this year's season was delayed, the drilling team used the extra time to repair 20 wells drilled by other organizations near our compound in Wau.

We thank our South Sudan management team, Salva Dut, Executive Director for East African Operations, Ater Akol Thiep and Ajang Abrahm Agok, our Field Operations Managers, Abraham Majur Laam, our Operations Center Manager, and Mathew Akuar, our Hygiene Team Manager, for all they do to support our mission.

WFSS Hygiene Education Expands Impact of Clean Water

 boys bathing in gaikou village

boys bathing in gaikou village

Since 2014, the WFSS hygiene team has traveled with the drilling team to help villagers improve hygiene practices in every village in which we drill. The hygiene team trains a team of eight people (four men and four women) who can then train others. The WFSS team works with the trainers to identify areas in need of improvement in their village. Improved hygiene helps expand the impact of clean water, and leads to better health for all.

In Gaikou village, Achan Aguei told the team that villagers were suffering for a long time from drinking stagnant water, sometimes the same water where people might bathe and clean their clothes and utensils.  "We were not aware that you can wash the inside of jerry cans with ash, gravel and soap," she said.

 WFSS hygiene team helps villagers in gaikou identify hygiene areas needing improvement

WFSS hygiene team helps villagers in gaikou identify hygiene areas needing improvement

Gau Majok, also of Gaikou village,  noted that his community did not know that contaminated water made them sick. 

"After Water for South Sudan, drilled a well for us and trained us about water and hygiene management, we realized that we were drinking water with germs and we had bad hygiene at our homes before and from now on we will call a meeting to tell everybody about water and new hygiene promoting ways, as taught by Water for South Sudan hygiene team, which is the first time for us to receive well/borehole and new hygiene promotion training. I appreciate Water for South Sudan, administration and management where ever you are, thank you so much for help."

Achan noted how much life can improve with hygiene training. 

"Now when we compare our life before, with simple things that Water for South Sudan has shown us with two days training, it helps me now to know what is good and bad. Thanks to Water for South Sudan. I hope Water for South Sudan will help other people in South Sudan like us also."

 

United Peace & Development Project Continues

The United Peace & Development Project (UPDP) began in 2014, with Water for South Sudan and Omaha, Nebraska based Aqua-Africa (A-A) coming together to drill water wells in South Sudan. The leaders of the two organizations, Salva Dut (WFSS) and Buey Ray Tut (A-A) saw the value of working together as South Sudanese to help their new country develop, despite being from the two major tribes, Dinka and Nuer, who have historically been in conflict. Since December 2013, the unrest and power struggles in the country have centered on issues between leaders from the two tribes.

 united peace & development well drilled in 2015

united peace & development well drilled in 2015

The UPDP continued through 2016, with three new wells being drilled, for a total of 12 wells drilled overall, in various parts of the country, in different tribal areas.

One of the 2016 wells was drilled in Langabu, in Central Equatoria State, where Limoba Jory, a widowed mother of two, cultivates and sells charcoal for a living. When asked about the challenges of water, she pointed to a six foot hole surrounded by thirsty bees. She explained how she must leave her children home alone even though there is a threat of child kidnappers.

“I wait in queue before the sun rises and when it’s my turn, I have to dig until I find water,” she said.

After the completion of the drilling, the UPDP team returned to follow-up and asked how the conflict in South Sudan has affected people. Mrs. Jory explained that the conflict has not impacted their day to day living as they are removed from conflict areas. But she noted the value of getting clean water, and the impact of those providing it.

“We hear a lot of things but the only thing I know for a fact about the Nuer and Dinka now is that they give my children clean water.” 

WFSS and A-A will continue working on the UPDP, bringing access to fresh water, along with peace and development, in the newest country in the world.

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.

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!

South Sudanese Unite for Peace and Development

 WFSS & Aqua-Africa drilled four wells for the UPDP in 2014 drilling season. Plans are for six more in 2014-15.

WFSS & Aqua-Africa drilled four wells for the UPDP in 2014 drilling season. Plans are for six more in 2014-15.

Water for South Sudan helps transform lives in South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene practices in areas of great need. Clean water can be the first step to so many things, better health, education, and peace and development in the world’s newest country.

In a country with a history of conflict, including the unrest which began in December, 2013, WFSS sees the opportunity for water to help bring peace and development in a country in need of both. In this spirit, WFSS launched the United Peace and Development Project with Omaha-based Aqua-Africa drilling four wells in the 2014 drilling season.

The project grew out of a connection between WFSS Founder and Executive Director for East Africa Operations, Salva Dut, and Buey Ray Tut, Executive Director of Aqua-Africa. Salva’s family is of Dinka heritage, and Buey’s family is of Nuer heritage. The Dinka and Nuer have been in conflict for many years, including the unrest that started in December, 2013. Salva and Buey joined together to bring access to clean water, and to show that by working together as South Sudanese, everyone can benefit.

The United Peace and Development Project (UPDP) drilled four wells in the 2014 drilling season. WFSS and Aqua-Africa plan to drill six more wells this season, which is set to begin in December. Three wells will be in predominantly Dinka areas, and three will be in Nuer areas. Salva and Buey are committed to their work for all who need access to clean water.

Salva noted that when he and Buey traveled to Dinka villages last year, “the people welcomed him as their brother.” 

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

Both organizations look forward to helping more clean water flow in South Sudan, for all the people of South Sudan.