Marakonye Primary School Well Rehab – South Sudan

This project continues Phase 2 of our South Sudan Well Rehab Program.
The project has been completed. Scroll down to See #Conclusion Report below.

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and NPCA, working with Water is Basic.
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Marakonye Primary School, Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan

Community Description
Marakonye is a village found in the northern part of Yei River County, four miles away from the main Yei Town.  The community of Marakonye has been around since the 1920s, mostly comprised of the Kakaw tribe of the Tike Forest.   For economic prosperity, the 20-household village works in lumbering and farming.  With both a primary school and a regularly and highly attended church, many individuals benefit from the borehole, located just outside the primary school.  The school’s attendance has dramatically decreased due to lack of water and the school’s transition to government funding.  Since 2011, the school has had to repair the borehole two times.

Problem Addressed
Alex Kiliona Peter is the headteacher of the primary school. He, along with his wife and six children, live four miles away from the school. The borehole was originally drilled for the school, but with a despondent surrounding community, it has been difficult to rally support and funds to fix the borehole. Alex is nervous, as school starts up again in February, and his 668 pupils have no way to obtain drinking water while in their classes. Alex remembers how the borehole broke during last semester’s exams and the treacherous conditions the students put themselves through as they sat through exams, dehydrated.

Nineteen-year-old Peter Lat is one of these pupils.  He lives a mile away from the school, and is completely dependent on the borehole for water during school and to bring home to his family after classes. Like Alex, Peter remembers the tough time preparing for his exams just as the borehole broke. Alex, like many students, was forced to travel a mile to get water. This caused Alex to be late to multiple exams and thus fail to move forward into the next grade.

Marry Asa is the cook for the teachers at the school.  With the extra need for water for cooking, drinking, and washing, Marry is struggling to collect ten jerrycans of water at a time. The lack of water has caused many of the teachers to become ill, keeping the students behind, and causing distress for Marry.

Project Description
Isaac’s Wells partnered with Water is Basic on this project to rehab the well at the Marakonye Primary School. This project should only take 1-2 days to complete.

First, the Water is Basic crew will take the pump apart, removing all the pipes to examine and check for holes or signs of future problems. We believe that the problem is a pipe that is rusted through, but sometimes it is hard to be sure before taking the pump apart. The project will restore the GI pipes and the head of the borehole to reliable and working order.

Problem Impact
This project will impact 646 people directly; 640 students and at least 6 staff.  This well rehab will also impact visitors, future students, and the surrounding community.

Project Director
Steve Roese

Monitoring & Maintenance
Water Is Basic educates and empowers the community by helping them learn the importance of diverse and equal organization. The water committee becomes a reconciliation tool as mixed genders, tribes and religions work together to manage the community well. By aiding the village to develop a committee and manage and maintain their well, the village is able to collect and save money to dedicate to future repairs.

The program’s first phase began with the Tore region, which became the center of a new wave of violence.  These new Phase 2 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.

Providing clean and close hydration for pupils, teachers, and school staff, provides a greater attentiveness, regular pupil advancement, and relieves the extraneous stress from those who depend on the borehole for use during school and for their families throughout the day. Providing a better environment for education helps keep medical costs low and empowers pupils to graduate and obtain jobs that allow them to put money back into the community and funds for borehole management.

Water is Basic is a borehole drilling organization in the Republic of South Sudan birthed and led by Sudanese religious leaders in response to the Country’s water crises. It is a Sudanese solution to a Sudanese problem with funding from Water Charity. The organization also utilizes thousands of volunteers who work to manage and oversee operations of wells once they are installed or restored.
While not an official Let Girls Learn project, it is in keeping with the goals and objectives of that program, and, as such, falls under Water Charity’s own Let Girls Learn + heading.

This project has been paid for by an anonymous donor.  


Conclusion of Marakonye Primary School Well Rehab – South Sudan

This well repair at the Marakonye Primary School was completed and carried out successfully through the partnership of Water Charity and Water is Basic, as a result of Grassroots Peace negotiations in South Sudan. It was started nearly one year ago and was interrupted due to the outbreak of war and guerrrilla fighting in the area.  For many tense months at the end of 2016 and early 2017 the Yei region, and South Sudan in general, teetered on the edge of civil war and genocide.  


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. 


Committed to ending the ongoing suffering of people in the country and in refugee camps, Water is Basic’s Bishop Elias Taban successfully brokered an agreement to bring peace and stability back to Yei River State and, in doing so, demonstrated the model for a grassroots “bottom-up” peace approach now serving as a catalyst for the entire nation. President Salva Kiir has requested this grassroots model be taken to all 32 states in South Sudan, beginning in Torit and Boma. Bishop Taban has gained significant influence with all parties involved and serves a valuable and particular role because the church is viewed as a neutral party.


Crucial to the return of people to their homes and rebels to assembly points is working well-managed water points. The Water is Basic/Water Charity partnership is pleased to be rehabilitating wells at an urgent pace. 

he numbers of wells deserted and now needing simple repair is in the hundreds to thousands. 
Project Description
The major problem resolved with the borehole repair is the student performance level increase, a factor that largely plays in determining if parents will transfer their students to other schools or out of school entirely. Students perform better when they are well hydrated and when they can spend most of their time in the classroom, not looking for something they are already struggling without. With the well in working order, the community is now able to transition its focus on raising an educated generation.

After assessing the situation, Water is Basic determined that the borehole was broken due to a rusted GI pipe. The overall repair took less than an hour.


The borehole serves seven hundred pupils and hundreds of community members, school administrators, and educators.


Because of the conflict in South Sudan, families have enough to worry about as they seek and hope for peace and security where they live. With the restoration of Marakonye Primary School well and the Community well, the threat of waterborne disease is one less worry that the people of Marakonye have to struggle with.