southsudan1Juba 9 December 2014 - UN-Habitat is providing safe water to people of South Sudan within a short period of time while having a positive impact in the lives of the residents. Ezo Kapoeta, Gok Machar counties are beneficiaries of the second phase Quick Impact Project. The project also offers capacity building for caretakers, training in operation & maintenance, hygiene awareness and sensitization. In Gor Machar access to safe drinking water has been provided to Wachapak, Machawhony, County Commissioner’s area, Town Centre and Market Square, currently Potable water supply coverage is about 80% ,almost 90% Operation and Maintenance costs is expected to be recovered from revenues. A population of 10,000 is expected to directly benefit from the water system.

A Water Management Committee has been formed through the project to manage and govern the water system. Similarly, six water operators have been trained on the technical operation of the Water System. Ten members of Water Management Committee appointed and trained for the management and governance of the Water System. In Kapoeta over 700 people are already benefiting from safe and clean water where the water system is managed locally. The water is pumped from the dug borehole to the elevated water tank (6m height) and drains to three water points.

The water system in Kapoeta is managed by three Water Management Committees consisting of 15 members who received water point management training, hygiene awareness training and book-keeping training. The proceedings collected are to be used for the running and maintenance of the system. In Ezo two Community water Points have been established at the market and another near Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) compound. Each of the water point has are fitted with eight taps.

Facilities aim to improve the lives of the community

A survey carried out by our partners AAR Japan in Kapoeta shows that the project beneficiaries are enjoying better water quality easy access, in terms distance from their homes. On average in dry seasons people used to fetch water from a distance of about 89 minutes but now it is reduced to about 26 minutes of waiting to fetch their water. The volume of water fetched by each user has increased from 93 litres to 169 litres. If we divide this amount by each family member the volume of water used by per person per day has increased from 11.3 litres/person/day to 19.9 litres/person/day which exceed the Sphere Standard level and almost reaching 20 litres/person/day which is considered adequate in long term according to UNHCR standard.

From the survey, many users answered that they feel there are fewer cases of health issues such as malaria and diarrhea, people are not accessing surface water. UN-Habitat, UNMISS, local partners (eg. AAR Japan – Kapoeta, Rural Development Action Aid – Ezo), and the beneficiary communities participated in the handover ceremonies that took place in various project sites. The key message during the handover in the three project areas was the facilities are to be used by the community to improve their lives and the responsibility to manage and maintain this property falls onto the hands of local government and local people.

A vast wealth of lessons has been learnt during the implementation of Quick Impact Projects 1 and 2 projects in South Sudan, the project’s success has been made possible by working with local partners and with support from key stakeholders, UN-Habitat, UNMISS, County Authority and the beneficiary communities at large.