Funded through the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) by UNDP and coordinated by UNOCHA, this project addresses the impact left by this deadly conflict. In line with Islamic Relief World wide’s global objectives of reaching out to the most venerable communities affected by conflict and natural disasters.
IR South Sudan employed a monitoring mechanism to ensure priorities are given to deserving cases. Communities in Yei benefited from rehabilitation of household latrines and borehole, drilling of new water sources, as the health and nutrition component is being implemented in Wau. An assessment and geophysical survey conducted by Islamic Relief in 2019 has resulted in the drilling of new boreholes in Yei County. Located in the midst of Marakunye village in Yei, the water sources have become a meeting place for women, children and domestic animals. Human voices, gushing water and jeericans colliding are the common noises at the water point.
Out of the 10,500 targeted people, 3,640 girls, 2,646 boys, 1,778 men, and 2,436 women benefited through improved access to potable safe water. The intention of this project is to reduce the suffering of the affected people in Yei from water borne diseases and other afflictions related to lack of access to basic WASH services, including inadequate access to clean drinking water and appropriate gender sensitive sanitation and hygiene services.
The WASH component of this intervention has increased and improved access to, and use of clean drinking water by drilling three boreholes, and rehabilitated 18 more. This has ensured sustainable gender appropriate sanitation and hygiene services through provision of dignity kits, Jerricans, plastic buckets, and washing soap.
28-year-old Celina Kaje, a mother of five children, is a beneficiary of a newly drilled water source in Marakunye in a suburb of Yei town. She narrates her story saying, “Before the crisis, our situation was relatively fine, but as conflict deepened, our situation further worsened. Now we depend on the output from our small farms.’’
The nearest borehole to Kaje is a 40 minutes’ walk, the place is risky because it is a frontline between the conflicting parties. To prevent risk of being raped or killed, the community resorted to drinking water from a hand-dug well. She finds it tough to provide the basic human needs for her five children since the family only depends on produce from a small farm.
Celina continues that she faces several challenges, the most critical one being access to clean water, food and medical treatment. The soft spoken lady shows signs of relief and joy as she says, ‘’Now diseases like diarrhoea and Typhoid will be a thing of the past’’
As a trained member of the area Water Management Committee, Keji appeals for escalated construction of water sources to meet demand and reduce congestion at the available ones.
The Project Reinstated Dignity and Protection through WASH Services.
Another unique component of this grant is restoration of the dignity of vulnerable women while considering their protection. This was done through provision of appropriate Sanitation and hygiene services, and WASH Non-Food Items (NFIs)
Classified into minor and major damages, 81 destroyed and deemed unfit for human use latrines were rehabilitated and improved. The major damage was for those that had their windows and doors destroyed.
The South Sudan Humanitarian Fund quarter one is tied to life–saving and building resilience of 10,000 conflict affected population, out of which 6,000 people are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 3,000 returnees and 1,000 from the host communities.The same population of 10,000 people is also expected to have access to gender appropriate sanitation and hygiene services and WASH related NFIs.
What makes us different?
What makes Islamic Relief unique is the strong adherence to the Common Humanitarian Standard (CHS) on quality and accountability. Several samples of testimonies collected from stalk holders affirms IR commitment to its values and policies.The Secretary General of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) Mr Mabe Moses Amule said Islamic Relief has been responding in saving life through WASH services and emergency food distribution to displaced and host communities in Yei since 2017.
Amule congratulated the quality of WASH services offered by Islamic Relief in South Sudan saying, ‘’before handing over a water source, IR undertakes in-depth water analysis tests that are certified by government to ensure quality service.” He continued, “This practice gained Islamic Relief fame and trust among the communities and key stakeholders and we request that Islamic Relief to conducts mass water analysis test for all boreholes in Yei.”
Amule urged Islamic Relief to escalate interventions to other thirteen counties under Yei River state. “The restoration of the dignity of women and providing protection sensitive facilities through rehabilitation of devastated latrines is something unique because our women were exposed to risks,” he continued.
In 2016, conflict in South Sudan spread to a relatively peaceful towns including Yei where IDPS from 13 counties were being hosted. Cases of killing, destruction of basic infrastructure and rape are characteristics that define the towns since then.While In Luzira suburb of Yei 75-year-old Monica Ajonga Noah is a beneficiary of the rehabilitation of household latrines. She lives with her elder son who initially was a businessman before the crisis, but unfortunately lost all his belonging including a car which got burnt down by rebel along the Yei Kaya road killing some passengers.
Monica who could be enjoying the fruits of her children, unexpectedly is providing maternal care to her grandchildren. Limping while leaning on a walking stick to access a small family farm, she said, “So long as I breathe, I can’t allow my children to die of hunger. Sometimes, I crawl to reach this garden to weed these groundnuts. During tough times, we only feed on porridge.’’
“Before I used to relieve myself in a bucket and my grand-daughter was saddled with the burden of carrying it to the toilet. This because the status of our latrines was not favourable to me. The rehabilitation has made it possible for me to once again use a latrine and relieve my granddaughter the unpleasant burden,” she explains.