Water charity Drop4Drop cites poor rains, drought, the depreciated South Sudanese pound and the ever-increasing cost of living as contributors to the difficulties that South Sudanese people face in accessing clean water on a daily basis. Many people rely on water deliveries and inequality is exacerbated by the high prices of this system, as well as the fact that the trucks are often unable to reach isolated areas. Water is also a political issue – South Sudan shares its primary water source, the River Nile, with ten other countries which results in sever water stress, a phenomenon occurring when demand for water exceeds supply.
As a consequence of a lack of equitable water provision across South Sudan, one-third of children suffer from diarrhoea before the age of five. This is proven to impede cognitive development and negatively impact health and income in adulthood. Thus income inequality is worsened not just within a country like South Sudan but between countries too. Children contracting water-borne diseases, which are significantly more common in low-income countries, are trapped in a spiral of poverty before they even have the opportunity to learn how to avoid infectious diseases through a positive, hygienic lifestyle.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of global aims published by the United Nations in 2015 including targets and indicators for the world as a whole to work towards in time for 2030. SDG 6 aims to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ and is intertwined with many of the other SDGs. As explained above, access to clean water is intrinsically linked with a reduction in poverty (SDG 1), as well as improved health (SDG 3), access to education (SDG 4) and even gender equality (SDG 5).
The Trumpeter Community Health Project exists to further progress in SDG 6 in and around Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. As well as conducting behaviour change activities to encourage households to embrace positive hygiene habits, the Trumpeters have also recently worked to repair boreholes, in partnership with a Dutch Christian NGO called African Mission. These pumps are a vital provision in communities, increasing equitable access as women are no longer required to travel long distances to retrieve water. However, they are expensive to install and maintain so when they are damaged, it is difficult to restore them to working order. Repairing one borehole costs nearly 2,000 GBP. So far, the Trumpeters have repaired seven boreholes. When work is completed, a water management committee is appointed by local leaders, comprised of people living in the area where the borehole is located. This community ownership helps to ensure that the borehole lasts after the repair is completed.
By the end of 2019, the Trumpeters hope to have repaired 10 boreholes in total across Juba. However, they still need to raise funds for this. If you would like to facilitate their work, just click here and specify that your donation is for the borehole repair project.