Abegi Well Renewal – South Sudan
This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity & NPCA, working with Water is Basic.
This begins Phase 2 of our South Sudan Well Rehab Program. The program began with the Tore region, which became the center of a new wave of violence. These new projects are being done along the Yei River, of Yei State. We continue with multiple well rehabs in Yei County, where many are displaced from the last two years of violence in the Unity and Jonglei States.
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This project has been completed and the well repaired successfully.
See short video here, and #Conclusion Report below.
Abegi is a town of 500, rich in family connection and support. The families shared their single borehole with a neighboring church until the well broke. While mostly dependent on livestock and produce agriculture, some Abegi residents also run small businesses to increase their family’s income. Entrepreneurship and woodworking are beautiful rarities that a few of the Abegi residents dabble in when the opportunity for work in these fields presents itself.
There is no accessible, clean source of water for the rural residents of the Abegi village. This almost guarantees the illness, and likely death, of many of the village’s children, especially those under the age of five. The residents currently fetch water, for drinking and cooking, from dirty wells, streams, and small rivers: anything that they can stumble across that is closest and cleanest, that day.
The world’s newest nation is still struggling with the cultural significance of gender equality. Because of this, the women particularly suffer from lack of close and clean water. Men still openly beat their wives and daughters when they feel their women are taking too long in fetching water for the family. The men blame the extra time spent searching for water on their assumptions that their wives are cheating on them. Forced to focus on the family’s well-being, the women rarely have the opportunity to go to school and participate in an equalizing social arena that will help all genders empathetically and logically understand the other sex.
With so many in the village relying on the same shallow water sources for water, women, such as Diana, suffer. Still living at home at the age of 20, Diana cares for her parents and siblings. One day her father demanded she walk 1 ½ miles to find water for him to bathe in. After waiting in line for the majority of her trip, Diana’s father beat her as soon as she came home, infuriated by the length of time it took her to return.
This project is in collaboration with Water is Basic, a locally owned and operated water drilling company. Over the last 8 years Water is Basic has been a reliable company in South Sudan, drilling and rehabilitating boreholes since 2008.
This project is to rehabilitate the well to bring it back to full functionality. It should only take 1-2 days to complete.
The Water is Basic crew will take the pump apart, and removie all the pipes to examine and check for holes or signs of future problems. Piping will be replaced and all repairs will be made to the head of the borehole.
While the project will help all 500 residents, the women will most benefit from the borehole repair. By providing them a local and healthy source of water, their commute time will be cut down immensely, decreasing the physical abuse within families and providing a greater chance for many more girls to both attend school and help out at home.
Steve is President of Water is Basic U.S. An entrepreneur and pastor, Steve has been involved in South Sudan since 2004 where he has fought alongside his brothers and sisters for peace and opportunity. His motto is “whatever it takes” and he means it when it comes to building the new nation of the Republic of South Sudan.
Monitoring and Maintenance
Since the borehole was drilled, the community has been proud that they immediately formed a committee to ensure proper usage and washing techniques around the deep well. Having lived a long life, the well is finally in disrepair, and work is needed to get iit up and running once again. The committee will attempt to raise funds from the struggling community.
The focus has been, and will continue to be, in monitoring the water usage for borehole-sustainability. The four-member committee will now introduce a required contribution of 5 ssp a month to build up a savings necessary for future repair. The committee will continue their educational practices with the community, through their regular washing training days and daily cleaning maintenance.
Water is Basic’s strengths come from the experienced local personnel. These individuals lead the nonprofit’s mission with determination and skill, guiding the country to develop self-sustaining water systems, managed and operated by local villages. It is the mission, of these projects to build communities and empower the Sudanese to implement solutions for their water crisis on their own.
Water Is Basic operates an internship program where local, promising secondary school graduates manage our projects for one year. Two recent graduates from Nehemiah Gateway University, in Albania, oversaw interns and the projects the interns were directing. In exchange for their work, the interns are given access to distance learning courses and are then assisted in applying for, and attending, their university of choice.
Although this is not officially a Let Girls Learn project, it is clear that girls will receive great benefit from this project and have more time to attend school.
The well repair was concluded successfully due in large part as a result of Grassroots Peace negotiations in South Sudan.
On June 4, 2017, a signed peace accord officially ended the armed conflict in Yei River State between warring factions – the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA – In Opposition (SPLA-IO) Yei River State. Mediated by Bishop Elias Taban, leader of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), the accord calls for a permanent ceasefire, an assembly area for armed rebels and their security, a planned national dialogue and the securing and opening of all roads to and out of Yei Town.
With that, our efforts in the region resumed and a team went out and fixed the well in Abegi.
The Abegi borehole had been broken for well over a year. Since they had been faithful in raising money for the well’s sustainability, the community was able to utilize the savings account on a repair man. However, the repairman was not as skilled as he had originally let on. After losing multiple, integral pieces of the borehole, the repairman left and the Abegi community suffered again until the funds from Water Charity and the aid of Water is Basic came through.
Despite having to fish out old materials from the water yield, the team was able to fix the well in less than half a day. The original town’s well committee reassembled and began collecting monthly water usage fees again.
Mama Joyce is an elder in the community and a transplant from a neighboring town. Sixty-five years of conflict has forced Mama Joyce to witness countless deaths from waterborne diseases, the most likely way to become sick or pass away in her community. Within just a short time after the repair, she had already noticed a significant difference in the younger generations’ health.
Repani is another woman delighted about the recent repair. She moved to Abegi a year ago with her husband. Repani talked endlessly about how relieved both she and her husband were now that their little one will have access to clean water.
Water Charity is pleased to announce that this community, which has had so much to contend with… no longer has to count access to clean water among their problems.