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Improving wash sustainability of the existing facilities in Yei River County

Basic sanitation, good hygiene practices and a reliable supply of drinking water are fundamental for a healthy, productive and dignified life. The promotion of sanitation and hygiene is essential in bringing about sustained improved behavioral change particularly in the villages where indiscriminate defecation is prevalent. The lack of a water supply especially safe water means that women have to spend hours fetching water rather than using their time more effectively, while poor sanitation facilities in other words mean that girls must miss days from school when struggling to cope with menstruation with cleanliness and dignity.

WASH facilities should encourage hygienic behavior in both the communities, schools and social places such as markets, etc. Hygienic behavior, such as using a toilet and washing hands comprises several small steps and necessary preparations are paramount to achieve good hygienic behaviors. Therefore, facilities must be available in schools, communities and social places in sufficient capacity center sized appropriately and simple to use, and have water and soap available at all times for hand washing as well as anal cleansing.

In Yei River County, majority of the villages does not have a standalone momentum for the facilities that were provided to them by NGOs, Government and private companies. Communities beliefs on the continual servicing of the facilities by the NGOs, Government and the private companies who have provided them. This has drastically affected the functionality of these facilities. For facilities wholly provided by the communities, they have upper interest to ensure that it’s functional.

The community of Rubeke has not taken the ownership of this borehole since they are not able to sustain the water point. Community members drink water from unprotected wells with the believe that “clear water≡safe water.
Most communities in Yei River County could not have access to WASH facilities and could not sustain the facilities provided to them because of: donor dependency/demand-driven, no plans for communities contributing funds, no interest from community members doing voluntary work.

WASH facilities should prevent harm and promote care of the environment. In order to sustain the existing facilities in Yei River County, communities should be willing to work voluntarily, remove the tendency of donor dependency/demand-driven, community contributions especially funds should be well managed, community by-laws need to be established to govern the maintenance and use of the existing facilities such as water points, public latrines, hand washing facilities etc and above all community leaders need to sensitize its members on community ownership.

[Unfunctional hand washing facility in Keijoin Ombasi Boma Otogo Payam]

[Showing a broken down borehole in Wotogo Boma Otogo Payam]

By Bejur Noel Modi

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November 28, 2013 in South Sudan |