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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Good news from Africa's youngest nation

SOUTH SUDAN - Decades of sustained conflict in the region, along with continued conflict and neglect in the years after the forming of South Sudan in 2011, have resulted in water becoming an even more precious resource, often leading to tension and conflict between communities.

Beyond being scarce, the water families do gather and drink is unsafe, as evidenced by the fact that one-third of children under the age of five regularly suffer from diarrhea, a potentially deadly ailment in this region of the world.

Communities, like Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo, suffered because the water they drank made them sick, especially the children. Finding water consumed a good portion of the day. Mothers, with children in tow, walked for hours each day to gather water from wherever they could. The situation was even worse in the summer when the streams and ponds dried up.

This past month everything changed for the more than 5,000 people living in Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo because of the support they received from friends of HOPE International Development Agency. After much effort and persistence, clean water has arrived in the two communities.

“People in this area have spent too many years without clean drinking water and many people have died because of what we had to drink,” says Chief Marona Sako. “We thank God, because today marks the end of this challenge.”

Giving these two communities access to water will help reduce water-borne illness and have a profoundly positive impact in how people care for their health and well-being.

Children will now be able to go to school rather than spending their days gathering water with their mothers. Most of these children have never had the opportunity to attend school. The education they receive will transform their lives, and even their communities, as these young children grow up and become leaders in their community.

Today we celebrate with the families of Ganagara-Osumani and Nanzongozogo as they begin to experience the life changing power of clean water. We also take a moment to say thank you for your support in helping HOPE transform lives in South Sudan since the country was formed in 2011.