Water now a resource in the hands of villagers thanks to solar pump in South Sudan

South Sudan Tseretenya Water260x190Tseretenya is a village of about 3,000 situated in Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan, just a short journey down the road from the border of Uganda. The climate is arid, and it has taken many attempts to find a water source that could be adapted to provide for the community. On March 27, the inauguration of a solar-powered system meant the long wait is over.

The new system now providing access to clean drinking water has been developed thanks to funding from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the technical work and knowledge of AVSI in collaboration with the village authorities. Fourteen solar energy panels were installed, which power an underground electric pump connected to pipes which lead to 3 strategically-located faucets: one close to the health clinic, one in the village market, and a third at the school, where AVSI also build two sanitary facilities, separated by gender.

Before the pump was built, the residents of Tserentenya, especially women and children, had to walk for an hour to fetch water from the well, and then drawing it was a physically demanding task. The long trip posed various security risks. Now, with water pumped by electric power, and conveniently accessed within the trajectory of one’s daily activities, you can imagine the improvement in the quality of life for the families. The partnership of AVSI with UNHCR and local authorities has resulted in the daily provision of 16 cubic meters of clean water (arriving from deep, uncontaminated wells) every day.

South-Sudan-water 2 260x190During the inauguration ceremony, AVSI officially handed over the equipment and structures build to the local authorities, affirming that the water is a resource for the good of the community, and it is also their responsibility to protect. The ceremony was attended by the County Commissioner of Ikotos, village authorities, representatives from the Ministry of Water of Eastern Equatoria and of UNHCR. Through its participatory approach with the community, AVSI has helped to prepare the authorities in Tserentenya to manage water use and to engage and raise the awareness of the entire community. In the years to come, the sustainability of the project and the good functioning of the system will depend on the people now empowered, and on their free engagement to contribute to the good of the village.

 

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AVSI in South Sudan

Program Area Water, Sanitation and Health Projects