By Charles K. Mark
South Sudan government, UNICEF, and partners witnessed inauguration urban water supply system in Yambio town, Western Equatoria State, on Thursday.
Estimated to serve about 45,600 urban residents, the project marks a significant step to sustainable and safe water supply to foster better health and improve lives.
UNICEF Country Director, Hamida Laseko noted that to ensure water safety, chlorine dosing mechanism has been fitted to minimize the risk of contamination during collection and storage.
“A convenient, safe, and affordable water supply reduces the risks of waterborne diseases, particularly diarrhea, and helps mitigate the impact of malnutrition on vulnerable children,” said Laseko.
The UNICEF country director said that providing safe drinking water, close to people’s homes also alleviates the burden on women and girls, who traditionally bear the responsibility of water collection.
Laseko underscored that by creating easier access to safe water collection, people will then have more time for other essential activities, enhancing their overall well-being and improving family dynamics.
“Clean, accessible water is not just a necessity but a fundamental human right. It is a positive step in resilience-based development in South Sudan,” Laseko said.
The UN agency revealed that previously, only 36% of the population had access to a limited-capacity water system, while others relied on seasonal and unsafe hand pumps, but now the expansion serves 83% of the total population.
Installed with solar-powered pumps, the water extraction capacity of the boreholes increase to approximately 39,000 liters per hour (l/h) and reduce the need for diesel usage.
The comprehensive water supply system now comprises five boreholes, 31 community water kiosks, a 40-kilometre pipeline around the town, and a total storage capacity of 250,000 liters.
Ambassador-designate for Germany in South Sudan, Christian Sedat, said the water supply infrastructure in Yambio was made possible by a 2.38 million Euro contribution from German development cooperation.
“This project clearly shows that Germany takes its responsibility as one of the biggest donors to South Sudan very seriously,” said Christian Sedat.
The water supply system was made a reality with the support of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the State Government of Western Equatoria, and Yambio Town Urban Water and Sanitation Company Ltd.