Sunday, September 24, 2017

Emergency Water in South Sudan

By Daniel Hekel, staff member in South Sudan

For two months, Rebecca Akel and Maria Anoon lived with their families on the roadside in a basic hut they made from long sticks and grass thatch. They had been displaced because of flooding in Aweil South County, South Sudan, and had no other place to go.

They were told they could find help at Apada West Camp, about a 15-minute drive away. Since the two women had no transport, they walked with their families to the camp.

Rebecca and Maria found shelter at the camp, but there were other challenges. There were no boreholes in the area, so water had to be trucked in. Even this assistance was not enough for the 280 households living there.

“If you are lucky you get one jerry can,” Maria said.

Her family of nine had to make do with five gallons of water per day for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Maria needed to collect seven times that amount to adequately provide for her family’s daily needs.

When Samaritan’s Purse staff learned that water was one of the biggest concerns in the camp, we mobilized our drilling rig. We drilled two boreholes and installed two hand pumps, providing safe, clean water for over 1,600 people.

Samaritan’s Purse continues to drill boreholes in South Sudan for people in need. This year, about 44,500 people have received clean water from boreholes and hand-dug wells.

As we provide life-giving water to these families, our staff is also telling them of the eternal life they can receive by believing in Jesus Christ. I feel that we are so privileged to be able to share this truth with them, which will quench the thirst of their souls.