South Sudan Emergency Aid: Water Supply Facilities Completed at Refugee Camp

About 38,000 people have evacuated South Sudan, which has been mired in conflict since the end of last year, to the Kakuma refugee camp in neighboring Kenya (as of June 11th, 2014. UNHCR <United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees>).  AAR Japan has been conducting research and providing support at the Kakuma refugee camp since February this year. Resident Staff of AAR Japan South Sudan Office Daijo TSUCHIKAWA, who is engaged in the activities on the ground, reports:

Installing Water Pipe to Deliver Safe Water to the Camp

Because of continued heavy rain, the water tank truck became stuck on the muddy road before reaching the camp. (March 19th, 2014)
It is very hot in Kakuma, with the air temperature exceeding 40°C during the day. Sandstorms hit the camp every day, and the people living there suffer a dire shortage of water for both drinking and rinsing away dust from children’s eyes. Although UN organizations deliver water to the camp with water tank trucks, road conditions worsened by continued heavy rain often hinder these trucks in reaching the camp. Because of the lack of safe water, people may have no choice but to drink standing water from the ground, raising fears of deteriorating sanitary conditions.

AAR Japan therefore established, in cooperation with the UN organizations and other international NGOs, a water supply system to ensure a stable supply of safe water to the camp. AAR assumed the task of installing 4.8 kilometer-long water pipes connecting a well northeast of the camp to a water tower at the camp. This system ensures a steady supply of water – as much as 500,000 liters a day – even when water tank trucks cannot reach the camp because of the poor road conditions.
Local people joined in to dig trenches for installing water pipes. (May 18th, 2014)
Water pipes, each with a diameter of about 11 centimeters, were connected one by one through the cooperation of the people. (May 11th, 2014)
At the opening ceremony of the water supply system, Mr. Girma, Head of Sub-Office, Kakuma, and Mr. Daijo Tsuchikawa, Resident Staff of AAR Japan South Sudan Office, jointly opened the water valve. (May 29th, 2014)
Many children living in the camp also gathered at the opening event. (May 29th, 2014)
These support activities enabled the people living in the camp, who had previously been given at most only 10 liters of water a day, to now receive 18.7 liters a day.  We would like to express our gratitude to all of you who helped in our activities. 

*These activities are being carried out thanks to the generous donations of many of you and the support of the Japan Platform (JPF).

Daijo TSUCHIKAWA, AAR Japan South Sudan Office (profile as of the date of the article)
Previously worked for South Sudan programs at the AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters from October 2012.  Since April 2013, as AAR Japan Resident Staff in the South Sudan Office, he has been engaged in well drilling in South Sudan and support activities in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

Japanese-English translation by Mr Yukio Kiuchi
English editing by Ms Fiona Chan

The article on this page has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.