South Sudan: Bring Water to Refugees and Returnees

by Relief International
Above:  An unhealthy and unsafe water source.
Above: An unhealthy and unsafe water source.

Creating access to clean water is at the essence of Relief International’s program in South Sudan. With the birth of the new nation, families have begun to return with the hope of a better life and future. But, thousands still live without basic sanitation infrastructure and access to basic necessities such as potable water. Many have to rely upon open wells and unprotected sources that are contaminated and often far away. Due to these conditions, diarrheal diseases and hepatitis outbreaks are common and many deaths occur from otherwise preventable illnesses.

In partnership with GlobalGiving, Relief International is ensuring that communities in South Sudan are healthy by continuing to help construct latrines, water points, and train communities on the promotion of healthy hygiene habits and proper maintenance of their infrastructure.  Relief International primarily works in the Mabaan and Longechuk Counties of South Sudan, including the Doro Refugee Camp.

Relief International works with the knowledge of returnees and builds upon existing and damaged infrastructure. In this way, Relief International is working directly with the people of South Sudan to provide them with the tools necessary to be empowered to take development into their own hands so they can rebuild their livelihoods and ensure healthier and brighter futures. 

Above: A safe water source.
Above: A safe water source.


Access to clean water in South Sudan is almost unknown—about 50% of the population does not have access to safe, potable water. Thousands of children die each day from easily treatable diseases resulting from contaminated water and a lack of proper sanitation. During the rainy season, these outbreaks are more common. In addition to the health risks and fatalities associated with this, the lives of women and girls are greatly impacted in a negative way. The burden of collecting water falls upon their shoulders; time spent collecting water means less time that girls could be spending in school or time that women could spend creating a better livelihood for their families.

In partnership with Global Giving, Relief International is ensuring that communities in South Sudan are healthy by: supporting the construction of latrines and water points such as boreholes, organizing and training village water committees to ensure maintenance and care of water points, and training village hygiene promoters to spread healthy hygiene habits among the community.

Currently, in the Mabaan and Longechuk Counties of South Sudan, Relief International has finished repairing 24 boreholes, built 17 new boreholes, and constructed 75 household latrines. In Mabaan County, Relief International has begun the training of 400 village hygiene promoters, 15 hand pump mechanics, and has organized 9 village water committees for the maintenance and care of boreholes. Additionally in Longechuk County, 5 school clubs have been formed in local schools for hygiene promotional activities.

Specifically, in the RI-managed Doro Refugee Camp in Mabaan County, 100 latrines have been constructed along with the creation and management of a solid waste collection and disposal system. Other activities in the Doro refugee camp include hygiene promotion, reforestation, and the distribution of hygiene and women's sanitary kits to ensure community hygiene improvements.

Relief International’s water, sanitation, and hygiene programming in South Sudan is unique and grassroots in its approach. Our field teams train and equip South Sudanese communities with knowledge, expertise, and leadership skills. In this way, Relief International is empowering local community members, refugees, and returnees to tackle health and developmental issues on their own.


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Organization Information

Relief International

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Relief International
Project Leader:
Maryam Fesharaki
Los Angeles, CA United States

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