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Sudan/People and Projects

Water after peace in South Sudan
(16 July 2007)
Mayan
Water is the main concern for the people in this region. Wells need to be dug to dangerous depths to reach the water table, several people have been buried alive as wells collapsed in on them.

Farming without water

Wells are few and far between and for many people the journey to the nearest water source is days away. Mayan, 47, used to make a 45 km round trip from his home in Akoi village to get water. Without water he cannot farm.


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Days looking for water

Mother of four, Athieng, 28, also lives in Akoi. "I have travel far to find water and it takes three to four days to make the journey. I am away from my family most of the time."

"Spending so much time away from my family is destroying my life," she says.


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A borehole for Akoi village

IR engineers are digging borehole wells in Warrap. In Akoi village IR is sinking a borehole to give easy access to clean water.

Without this well, the community will have to rely on stagnant pools of water, making them vulnerable to waterborne diseases. Guinea worm and other diseases are widespread across Warrap state.

Drilling rig

IR has a single drilling rig working in the Warrap region. An estimated 15% of Warrap's people are benefiting from IR boreholes, according to the Commissioner of Toni, in northern Warrap, Achull Magardit.

First spurts of water

As the first spurts of water gush out of the pipe, the people cheer. Easily available, clean water is improving the health of rural communities who are struggling to recover from the civil war.

Over the last two years, Islamic Relief has drilled and installed 70 new hand pumps in Warrap and rehabilitated another 50, benefiting around 20,000 of its people.

Water committees

For Athieng, the well means that she can spend more time with her family. "Now it will take 30 minutes at the most to get water."

One of the Millennium Development Goals is to reverse the loss of environmental resources, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Islamic Relief has formed 128 Water Development Committees; each manages the water sources in its locality, ensuring that they are properly maintained.

The committees also help promote awareness of good hygiene practices.

IR is also training pump mechanics to maintain the pumps.

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