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09/05/2013

Practical sessions to repair a borehole

JEN is carrying out a strengthening of capacity program in Yei County.  Although Yei is perceived to be one of the counties with huge coverage and minimal needs, an assessment conducted in April/May June 2013 revealed huge gaps in the WASH sector. 
JEN through funding from Japan Platform and the generosity of the people of Japan embarked on a two year project 2013/14  and hopefully 2014/15 in order to strengthen communities capacities in addressing WASH issues.  JEN is working closely with the Department of Rural Water and Sanitation of Yei County.

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Recently  formerly trained pump mechanics ( by other organisations) attended a 10 day training on preventive operation and maintenance for boreholes.
During one of their practical sessions to repair a borehole that broke down in one of the schools, I got a chance to chat with the Deputy Head Teacher of Kajiko Primary School in Ombasi Boma, Yei County.

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Anthony Lubari, the Deputy Head teacher for this school is 43 years old, and he is married with 5 children.  He has been working in Kajiko Primary School since the year 2009.  He gave us a little bit of history on the borehole that was repaired. The borehole was drilled in 2009 by DANIDA to serve the primary school and the surrounding community members.  It was the only borehole at the time serving over 1000 people.
However, there was no committee that was formed to take the management of the water scheme.  Later on the community mobilized themselves and nominated 11 members as a water user committee.  These 11 members did not receive any training and did not understand their roles and responsibilities very well. There were no trained pump mechanics either and soon things started going the wrong direction.  No one seemed to execute any responsibility and two years down the line, the borehole broke down.

The borehole has remained non-functional since 2011 when it broke down.  Attempts for community members to report to payam administrators fell on deaf ears.  Persons who attempted to rectify it worsened the situation as they were neither skilled nor knowledgeable.

Pupils from the school who are more than 400 at the time resulted to fetching water for a nearby stream.  The water is used for drinking, cooking and all other water uses.  Though the stream is an all season and never dries up, the water is not safe for consumption since children did not wait for it to be boiled.  ‘  A lot of children suffer from diarrhea and end up skipping classes ‘ said Anthony.

During the repair – practical sessions by POM trainees, there was an awful smell that came out of the borehole with some worms.  The facilitator Ms Cecilia Mimi, ( a water technician with Department of Rural Water and Sanitation) emphasized on the need to chlorinate the borehole prior to opening it up for public use.

Anthony was very grateful, he said:  ‘ I am indeed happy that JEN has organized to have this borehole repaired. I am going to work with the community and the school committee to ensure that from now hence forth the borehole is well taken care of’. 

JEN’s overall objective in working with communities of YEI is to achieve community resilience and self-reliance.



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September 5, 2013 in South Sudan |