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04/18/2013

Well Repair Training Course Completed

In South Sudan, many people rely on water from wells. However, quite a few wells remain damaged.

In many developing countries, fetching water from wells is considered work for women and children. Plastic containers holding about 20 liters, called “jerry cans”, are used to carry drinking water. They are carried by hand or on one's head, one or two at a time, which amounts to 20 to 40 kilograms.

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When women and children go to fetch water with their sisters and friends, a crowd of yellow and white jerry cans forms around the well in no time, and they will have to wait to take turns. While children in junior high and the upper grades of elementary school work the hand pump at a steady rhythm, younger children play with it, hanging from it with all their weight. For children with few means of entertainment, the water well seems to serve as a good playground.

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A properly installed pump moves easily, but when parts wear down or children keep hanging from it and put it under unusual pressure, it becomes harder to work, and could cause damage. Once a well breaks down, it is often abandoned and unrepaired, usually because there are no spare parts, no funds for reparation, or nobody with knowledge of fixing it.

When a well in the neighborhood is damaged, women and children may have to walk for several kilometers to reach distant wells and rivers. Moreover, water in the rivers is not suited for drinking, and may cause diseases. If damaged wells can be repaired quickly, people will be able to keep drinking clean and safe water, and it will also lessen the burden of household chores for women and children.

JEN assisted with digging wells in Juba’s school premises last year, but in order for local residents to be able to fix wells once broken, we held training courses of well reparation. Schools in South Sudan do not have along the ground peripheries, so local people living nearby come and use the well.

The training course lasted for ten days, including on-site training using an actually damaged well.
The photo below captures the ceremony held on the final day, giving out certificates of completion of the course.
Every participant looked so proud to receive his/her certificate for acquiring the skills of well reparation.

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April 18, 2013 in South Sudan |