Putting clean water on top of the list.
In a country that is struggling with humanitarian needs ranging from poor infrastructure to poor health, access to water still remains a challenge in southern Sudan.
In all sectors, water seems to be the most vital missing link. JEN has been working since 2007 to alleviate this problem and ensure that returnee communities are able to settle in well and set their minds for development.
JEN focuses on provision of WASH services and facilities in schools. It has been said that every 20 seconds, a child under five dies in the developing world from a preventable illness. JEN believes that clean water is the solution that makes the biggest difference to the lives of the locals..
JEN drilled a total of 11 boreholes in Morobo County of Central equatorial. While on a monitoring visit to some of the facilities, it was apparent that at least three communities received a community borehole for the first time. These are Okollowa, Dongoda and Asumuko primary schools in Morobo County.
"We always used to drink from streams and all our children had diarrhea. This meant high medical bills because we didn’t understand the causes; the new borehole is a huge gift as our children are now feeling better" said Headman Justino Bubuge Yoani in Okollowa village.
Elsewhere in Dongoda, Rose Kaunda, a 53 year old mother of 11 children, said, "It is the first time we have seen a borehole in this community. People used to fetch water in springs that are far away, sometimes taking up to 4 hours. Now, as a mother, I am left with more time to farm and tend to my children because the water is nearby."
In the same community, a man had come to the borehole with a small 10 litre jerrican, which is unusual. When asked, he said he was fetching drinking water. Luate Muzame is 27 years old and married with one child. He said that since he grew up he never saw an organization visiting his area for humanitarian support. "I always thought we are the forgotten people" he said. JEN is the first organization to work in the area and now they have a new borehole!
In some ways, all the statements above may sound obvious. We all reach for the bottled water when in unfamiliar territory to reduce the risk of picking up diseases. However, in communities where access to clean water is a big issue, this makes a huge difference in the people's lives.