It is becoming increasingly difficult for families in Juba to access the water they need. In South Sudan as a whole, half of the population does not have access to clean water. The economic downturn and subsequent inflation has led to a steep rise in the price of water. Many households are now paying 50 to 150 per cent more for water than they did previously. As a result, families are forced to prioritise using water for drinking and cooking, rather than for personal hygiene and cleaning their homes. This means diseases like typhoid spread easily. Poorer families, particularly those
headed by women, are the worst affected by water shortages, and have resorted to taking water from rivers. This water is not safe to drink, making those who do so vulnerable to diseases such as cholera. In summer 2015, a cholera epidemic erupted in South Sudan, infecting over 700 people.
How we're helping
Oxfam has been working in South Sudan for over 30 years. Since 2013, we have responded to the conflict and cholera outbreak, providing clean water to over 540,000 people through a network of pipes, water tanks and taps. This water is being used for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning, enabling people to keep their families safe from waterborne diseases.
We have worked with 23,000 people in Juba to prevent the spread of cholera by training communities on how to prevent the spread of cholera and providing families with the equipment they need to implement this knowledge in practice, such as by distributing buckets and soap for hand washing.
This project aims to make safe drinking water affordable and accessible to poor households in the long term, by changing the current system which exclusively provides water for the urban population at extremely high prices. This could also provide households with an opportunity to earn an income and provide for themselves and their families by managing newly constructed water facilities and selling clean water to vendors. The project aims to:
- Construct water facilities, providing people with a source of clean, affordable drinking water.
- Support families to earn an income whilst meeting their communities' water and sanitation needs.
- Enable people to maintain water quality and prevent the spread of disease.