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Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Impossible Decision: Drink Water or Eat?

South Sudan is now trying to rebuild itself after 17 years of civil war in which most of its infrastructure was destroyed, leaving families in desperate need of clean water. Without access to clean water, illness and disease run rampant, families suffer, and lives are lost.

A hand dug water hole in Ibba.
The sources of drinking water frequented by the people of Ibba, South Sudan are typically holes dug by hand and are full of deadly bacteria. Stagnant water like this has led the country to having a child mortality rate among the highest in the world.

Donors said this needs to change – they are providing families with clean water.

A single borehole, drilled up to 160m deep, will provide clean water for 180 families. Martin and his family are among those helped.

During the civil war, they were forced to flee to the mountains where there was no water, and no hope. When fetching water, Martin’s wife was forced to ask whether it was for drinking or for porridge. “We had to choose because there wasn’t enough [water],” he said. Now that the borehole is complete, he tells us, “the children are clean, and our clothes are clean. We can drink water and eat porridge. Water is the key to our happiness.”

"Water is the key", Martin
Without enough water nothing can exist and life comes to a halt. Health and sanitation deteriorate and gardens don’t grow. The little water that is available is unsafe – full of bacteria that begin by attacking the youngest children, who are most vulnerable.

Martin and his family now have a sustainable source of clean water. They don’t have to worry about where they’ll find water to drink, or how they’ll make food, or whether they’ll be able to keep their children clean and free of disease. They no longer have to choose between eating or drinking.

Generous donors made this story possible for Martin and for hundreds of other families just like his – we cannot thank you enough!

The new borehole provides abundant supply of clean water.


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