HOW JEN is restoring people’s dignity in South Sudan.
The world’s 193rd state faces a difficult start. Now only seven months since it was born, poverty is widespread and there is little decent infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals or sanitation. One in ten children die before their first birthday and more than 80 per cent of southerners don’t have access to any kind of toilet.
South Sudan has a record of un-imaginable suffering with decades of conflict taking the lives of 1.5 million people.
The existing southern population faces added pressure in that many thousands of people are joining the country from the north, most of which originally hail from the south and this has contributed to pressure on the existing meager resources in the country.
JEN has been working in the south for slightly over 5 years, primarily through implementation of water supply, hygiene education and sanitation for schools. Watch our interview with one of our beneficiaries from Kajo Keji, to learn more about the role of the JEN in South Sudan……
Kajo Keji is home to an ethnic community known as ‘kuku’, who are primarily farmers. Juan Esther was recently interviewed by JEN’s teams in the field regarding what has changed since JEN started implementing in her area.
Juan who is 26 years old and a mother of 5 said that she settled in Kajo Keji in 2006 as a returnee. Life was unbearable as she had to walk for over 4 kms in search of ‘safe water’. She would spend her entire day making two trips only to get enough water for cooking and drinking.
This left her family quite miserable as the children had to fend for themselves. The younger son suffered bouts of diarrhea so frequently that she almost lived in and out of hospital all the time. JEN drilled a borehole in a nearby school only 600m from her home. ‘ I have never been happier as now I have enough time to take care of my family and don’t have to worry about water. More over, the yield of the water is quite good hence I don’t have to queue for my turn’ she said.
Juan is a member of the water management committee says : Sanitation in my household has improved tremendously. I am now thinking of constructing a hand washing facility, as I don’t have to worry about the source of water any more. She said that as a committee member her role is to ensure that the borehole is maintained and is clean at all times.
Juan is among many beneficiaries across Kajo Keji where JEN has recently drilled 10 boreholes.
JEN’s efforts to impact on people’s lives are also geared towards ensuring that they have restored dignities as well.
(Program Officer: Elizabeth Mose)