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Water Charity is proud to announce that the first phase of our South Sudan Well Rehab Program has been completed successfully. All 10 of the original well repairs went well, and have restored access to clean water in all 10 villages. In fact, the rehabs went so well that 3 additional villages were able to be restored to functioning water access by rehabilitated wells at no additional cost! CLICK HERE to read about the beginning of this project.
The original villages served are as follows: Bandame, Do’bo, Hai Mundari, Kuronyangi, Mukpara, Munze, Prokele, Purini, Ramba, and Tore Centre.
13 Wells brought back to functionality for around $1,000 each. An incredible feat by any stretch in any part of the world. In South Sudan, amid civil war and unthinkable violence, this is just short of miraculous. We want to thank all the heroic volunteers and workers who risked their lives to help people with the most basic of necessities.
An interesting side effect of this program, has been the amazing increase in developing all-female borehole committees. Even just a major increase in the participation of women is extremely beneficial for these villages. Eliminating the long walk to sources used before the borehole was drilled and repaired, the women of the village have been able to establish new routines of educating their family, and developing new organizational tactics within their community. The empowerment of women in these villages has many levels of benefit. Known to be better at managing and saving funds, the women within these committees have been driven to collect monthly borehole-use funds for future borehole breakdowns. Unlike the statistics of South Sudan males, females tend to be more trustworthy and community-focused, keeping the collected community funds in the community pot with an eye towards future needs, repairs and upkeep.
The villages served by this phase of the program are in the Tore region, the most dangerous part of South Sudan, as of late, due to rebels fighting against the government and spreading great fear through the local communities with kidnappings and car burnings. However, when the boreholes in these villages broke down, the members of the area had to turn their attention to basic survival. After the borehole was fixed and the community received training, the village was able to refocus on community development. They redefined equality within the region by creating a borehole management committee and empowering local women. This has been rather successful, but the situation in the region is still very dangerous.
South Sudan, the newest nation on Earth, has long struggled with internal conflict. The Tore region is the latest area to have fallen under siege of the South Sudan Army, a rebellion group that terrorizes citizens as they push against the newly developed South Sudanese government. With the safety of local citizens at constant risk, the Water Is Basic team has been unable to revisit most of the area. Updates and new reports will be made as soon as the Water Is Basic team is sure there will be no threat to those trying to aid the area.
Since the latest repairs, the Tore region has been overwhelmed with terrorist attacks from the South Sudan Army. Since safety is far from guaranteed, our partners in Water Is Basic have been unable to return to most of these villages to do certain follow-ups and evaluations. The South Sudan Army has been holding the Tore region hostage, terrorizing citizens by burning their household belongings and multiple modes of transportation, even gouging people's eyes out. The repaired boreholes, which the community has the education to fix now, may be one of the few sources that are keeping these communities healthy during this time of conflict. As soon as the region is declared safe for travel, the Water Is Basic team will reconvene to ensure the accessibility of water through the borehole is still in effect, to ensure clean water during possible, future conflict.
While the goal of this project has been achieved, Water Charity and Water Is Basic are committed to stepping up and making sure that the lives of these villagers is quantifiably improved and that their access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation continues.
These rehab projects and the entire program in South Sudan all fall under our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program.