In South Sudan, two decades of sustained conflict and neglect have caused limited access to water and sanitation.
This has contributed to poor health in communities. Young children below the age of 5 years are the most vulnerable, along with pregnant women and the elderly. A recent study conducted by UNICEF indicates that 15% of the country’s population have access to sanitary latrines – one of the lowest percentages in the world. Only 17% of basic primary schools have access to adequate sanitary latrines for both boys and girls.
This is where the Trumpeters come in. These heroic volunteers are determined to change those statistics and will not consider their job fully completed until the whole of South Sudan has access to clean toilets. They visit households (of which the average size is seven people) and encourage local people to install latrines in their home using locally available materials including burnt bricks, cement and wooden poles.
Alongside efforts to reduce open defecation in communities, slowly but surely, the Trumpeters are chipping away at those UNICEF statistics. It is not simple though – one of the main challenges is purchasing local materials. Due to the economic crisis, import of goods is problematic, prices are rising and community members are struggling to purchase materials.
Please pray that the economic climate in South Sudan would improve so that local people are able to afford materials to build vital, life-saving latrines. Pray also that the Trumpeter volunteers would be encouraged by the progress they are making.