Jun 28, 2017

Another Successful Drilling Season for WFSS!

WFSS drilled new wells in 21 villages in 2017.
WFSS drilled new wells in 21 villages in 2017.

Water for South Sudan had a great 2017 drilling season, impacting 54 rural South Sudanese villages:

  • 21 new wells were drilled in villages having no access to safe water, bringing the total number of wells drilled since 2003 to 304.
  • 33 of the earliest wells drilled by WFSS had the platforms around the wells upgraded to a new, stronger and more sustainable design developed by WFSS in 2016.  
  • All 54 villages received hygiene education to train villagers in keeping the water in the wells clean and to educate them about disease prevention. 

Yar is just one of the many people our team met in the field this season. Yar lives in Boul, a village in Alabek County Tonj State, where WFSS installed a borehole well in 2007 and returned this season to rehab that well. Yar was asked how life has changed for the village in the ten years since the well was drilled. Yar enthusiastically replied that life has improved for everyone. Most notably, since the installation of the borehole the rate of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea, Bilharzia, Typhoid, and Guinea Worm, has dropped significantly.

Yar also shared with the WFSS team that before the well was drilled only four people went to school. Currently there are 26 students, including nine girls. In addition, with plenty of clean water for them there are more domestic animals, such as cows. This provides milk for families providing nutrition that further enhances their health. 

Yar was appreciative of the hygiene training provided and is happy that they know how to protect the water source, making it sustainable for a long future. 

On behalf of Yar and the Boul community, Water for South Sudan thanks you for your support of our work. 

With a well in her village, this child can go to s
With a well in her village, this child can go to s
team teaching villagers
team teaching villagers

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Apr 4, 2017

Update on Drilling Wells in South Sudan

The first well drilled by WFSS in 2017
The first well drilled by WFSS in 2017

Water for South Sudan's (WFSS) 2016-2017 drilling season is successfully underway. Although the media reports of unrest in South Sudan are real, WFSS's team is safe and able to continue drilling wells in remote rural villages in South Sudan.

The WFSS compound is located in Wau. There are over twenty NGO's operating in Wau and none of them have considered evacuating their employees or their equipment. WFSS leadership in South Sudan receives security reports from NGO Forum Security Focal Point, an ACTED organization. If there is a situation where other NGO's are evacuating the WFSS team will evacuate to an NGO assembling point, or other safe place. 

In addition to WFSS, some of the other NGO's operating in Wau are:

  • United Nations Mission in South Sudan
  • World Food Programme
  • World Health Organization
  • UNICEF
  • Medicine Sans Frontiers
  • OXFAM 

To date this season, WFSS has drilled 11 new wells and rehabilitated 16 wells drilled in previous years. The need for rehabbing some of WFSS's earliest wells arose from an evaluation of 80 wells conducted by a WFSS team in 2015. The team discovered that while all of the wells were operational, many of the wells had cracked and broken cement platforms caused by animals drinking from the well. To rectify this, in 2016 WFSS redesigned the well to draw animals away from the pump to a drinking pool. In addition, WFSS is now using bentonite, a stronger substance, for the well platforms. Several years ago, WFSS began conducting hygiene training in every village where they drill a well. This season WFSS added a second hygiene team to travel with the rehab team to provide hygiene training in villages where our earliest wells were drilled.

This season, WFSS has rehabbed a borehole drilled in 2007 in Boul, a village in Alabek County Tonj State. Yar is a woman living in the community of Boul. Yar spoke with the WFSS rehab / hygiene team, noting the positive impacts on the community as a result of clean water and hygiene training. Yar pointed out that the lives of human beings have improved because everyone has access to safe drinking water and many families have improved their personal hygiene practice. One of the most significant indicators is the reduction in Guinea Worm Disease, diarrheal disease, Bilharzia, and Typhoid. Yar stated, "Since 2011 we have not seen one person in the area affected by Guinea Worm." 

Yar also spoke of changes in village lifestyle as a result of having clean water, "before the well was drilled only four people went to school, the number has increased to 26, including nine girls." Yar applauded WFSS, "the villagers of Boul are grateful to WFSS and to the donors who contribute to life-supporting projects to safeguard the life of South Sudan's rural population."  

Thank you to GlobalGiving and to all of you who have contributed to this project. WFSS is 100 percent privately funded, receiving no revenue from either the US or South Sudanese governments. Without you, the WFSS team would not have the capacity to bring safe, clean water to people like Yar and the Boul community. 

Since 2005, WFSS has installed 293 borehole wells and conducted hygiene in villages. The wells become the property of the villages, who are responsible for maintaining the wells. 

WFSS redesigned the cement base of wells in 2016
WFSS redesigned the cement base of wells in 2016
WFSS hygiene team training villagers
WFSS hygiene team training villagers

Links:

Jan 5, 2017

Water for South Sudan Prepares for 2017 Drilling Season

Getting the truck ready
Getting the truck ready

Dear friends:

Thanks to your generosity Water for South Sudan (WFSS) has drilled 282 wells in remote, South Sudanese villages. We are grateful for your support.

Imagine living in an environment where for half of the year there is no rain and the temperature averages 120°F. Now imagine there is no air conditioning, no refrigerator with cold water to drink, and no supermarket where you can purchase drinking water. In order to get water you must walk miles in the heat, only to find water that is dirty and contaminated. Hundreds of thousands of people live like this today. Water for South Sudan drills wells in remote South Sudanese villages, providing access to clean, safe water and transforming lives.

WFSS is preparing to begin its 2017 drilling season in the coming days. WFSS drills only during the dry season, which runs from November through May. Once the rains come it is impossible to travel or to drill. In October, November, and December, the WFSS team in South Sudan prepares for drilling to begin in January.

Preparations include working with county and village leaders to determine where wells are needed, conducting assessments, and procuring supplies for the season. Once WFSS, in conjunction with county and village leaders have agreed in which villages wells will be drilled, the WFSS team conducts an assessment. The assessment entails confirming that there is access to the underground aquifer that provides water and determining what needs to be done prior to drilling.

For example, in a country the geographic size of Texas there are only about 100 miles of paved road. In most of the country even dirt roads are nonexistent. Therefore, often trees and brush need to be cleared to create a road where WFSS can drive in their trucks and drilling rig. WFSS engages villagers to complete this work before the team comes back to drill. In addition, because South Sudan has few resources, supplies must be purchased in other countries, such as Uganda and the United States, and shipped to South Sudan.  

When WFSS arrives in a village to drill a well everyone is very excited because they know that close proximity to clean, safe water will be transformational. Therefore, people want to help the WFSS team. Children will help to collect rocks needed and women will even cook for the team.

During the 2017 drilling season, WFSS anticipates drilling approximately 20 new wells, providing hygiene training in villages where new wells are constructed, and revisiting villages to repair some of our earliest wells. It is your support that allows us to continue bringing water to areas where it is desperately needed. 

Drilling
Drilling
Gathering Water
Gathering Water

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