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Providing clean water in South Sudan

When I arrived in Bentiu, South Sudan in early January, there were 8,000 people seeking refuge in the UN base. I worked with our team to provide clean water and sanitation to people who desperately needed it.

People leaving with food, supplies, and water from a distribution run by Concern Worldwide and other charities in Tomping, a UN base that is now housing some 16,000 people who were forced from their homes because of violence. Photo: South Sudan, 2014.

Threat of diseases

Before we began our work, water was being collected from a rudimentary treatment plant without any guarantee that it was safe for human consumption. There were only a few latrines which were in a very bad state. The threat of diseases, such as cholera, was very real.

Charity work in South Sudan

We had to move fast to create better access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and to mitigate the risk of disease.

When we received the new pumps, pipework and fittings, we managed to get the plant operational again. Since then, we've been able to provide good quality water.

Improving sanitation

We trained hygiene promoters, who are living in the camp, to tell people about water borne diseases. They're also making sure people know how to properly wash their hands; we know that the simple act of washing hands with soap can significantly cut the risk of diarrhoea from 30 to 50 percent.

Aid distribution 

Irish Aid provided us with essential items and we were able to distribute 12 boxes of soap, five boxes of jerry cans, and 250 buckets to 1,200 people.

Temporary latrines have been built, made possible by funding from DFID and we are building more. Temporary bathing facilities have also been provided.

More in need of help

While we have managed to help people inside the camp, we know many more are also in need. People have lost all their assets and are in urgent need of water, food and shelter. Our team is ready to assist them but, while the conflict continues, this is not feasible. We urgently need humanitarian access to be restored in order to reach the most vulnerable.

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