South Sudan: Easy Access to Water Is Achieved By New Water Supply System

South Sudan has just only become an independent country in July 2011, but AAR JAPAN’s water and sanitation project there started as early as 2006. Since then, 96 wells and 6 water supply systems have been constructed in different locations of Eastern Equatoria, one of the 10 states of the Republic of South Sudan. This report offers information about the water supply system that was completed in October 2011 in Kapoeta Town (Kapoeta South County).

October 17th, 2011- Each water tank has a capacity of 5,000 liters. Through pipelines, the water is distributed to three distant tap stands.

January 6th, 2012- Children waiting for their turn at the tap stand (in the back left: AAR JAPAN field staff Takeshi IKEDA). A fence with a gate has been built around the tap stand to allow for controlled dispensing of water at fixed hours.

Kapoeta is home to several different ethnic groups and the population density is high. Due to the continuous population growth in recent years, the number of existing wells has become insufficient. As a result, the wells are overcrowded and this leads to incessant quarrels about whose turn is next and about the amount of water people are allowed to fetch.

In view of this situation, AAR JAPAN decided to build a water tower at the existing well in Kapoeta Town in order to provide access to water to a larger number of people. A solar energy powered pump transports the water to an elevated tank, six meters above the ground. From there, 470 meters of pipelines send the water to three separate tap stands.

October 17th, 2011- Each tap stand is furnished with three faucets for easy water fetching.

Every tap stand has its own management committee, formed by residents of the neighborhood. AAR JAPAN has provided training sessions to the committee members, with the purpose of enabling local residents to manage the water supply system on their own initiative. As part of the training, the members have been guided to define by themselves a set of rules for proper administration of the tap stands, such as opening and closing times, and to come up with ideas for improving sanitary conditions around the wellspring. In January 2012, AAR JAPAN concluded the implementation of a similar water supply system in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria.

“I’m so glad the troubles of water fetching are over” – Interview with Alima LOPIDINE.

Alima LOPIDINE (26) uses the tap stand every day.

“In our family of six”, Alima says, “we use eight 20-liter containers of water per day. Previously, we had to spend a long time every day waiting at the crowded well, and there was always fighting about whose turn it is. But now at the tap stand, we just twist the tap and plenty of water comes out. In our community, it is the job of the women and children to fetch water. I’m so glad that the children are now freed from this labor. Thanks to the shorter wait time at the tap stand, the children can spend more time in school.”

* This project has been funded by individual donations in addition to a grant received from Japan Platform.

Shoichi TOYOI, AAR JAPAN South Sudan Office, Kapoeta
Has been working at the South Sudan office in Kapoeta since June, 2010. After graduating from university, first worked for a private company. Later on, joined the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers in a development project in rural Uganda. After his return to Japan, joined AAR JAPAN. (Born in Hyogo Prefecture.)