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11/06/2014

Water

The dawn of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has raised high expectations among the citizens. This also reduced their spirit of voluntarism and search for self- reliance. This seems to be the result of introduction of salary payment to public servants who deal with general public affairs.  Many people expected that public services could be automatically delivered after the (CPA). They thought that they could get clean water and have a good hospital built etc. Their hopes and expectations are not met to a larger extent and this caused low morale for the citizens and affected their motivation to participation in public affairs.

Before the CPA, people used to have a sense of ownership and communities took lead in all development activities in their communities where nobody received a salary in exchange for such work. However, after the CPA, civil servants work and are paid salaries by the government in exchange for providing public services, while local leaders in the communities are not paid and still provide voluntary community service.

Most of them have lost their spirit of voluntarism and citizens have hoped that the government will provide them with basic public services like schools, clean water, good roads and so forth.

Taking the case of water, I would like to share the status of it available in the community where I live. Water is used in every household in my community and most of the people collect water from unprotected wells, rivers, boreholes, swarms, streams, springs, surface water and rain water. There are several risks related to the handling and using of water from those unprotected water sources. For example, it harbours disease-causing organisms e.g. Bilharzias, Cholera, typhoid etc. and it is a medium through which lifecycle of disease vector uses for breeding e.g. mosquitoes, sand fly etc. 

[show one of the unprotected well in my community where people harvest water from]
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Most of the people in my community were affected by decades-long war and they could not have access to education. Most people collect water from the water point, which is directly consumed without any idea if it needs to be treated and how and also even without confirming if the water is safe and clean for use or not. As a result, the majority of my people have suffered from diseases like water-borne diseases such as typhoid, diarrhoea, bilharzias and cholera among the others which have killed many of our children, brothers, sisters, parents, and even grandparents. Most people in my community are ignorant to the safe water chain (process of prevention of water from contamination right from the water source up to the time of consumption). My thanks goes to the organization JEN for coming up with a village transformation program(VTP) which has provided education to my community at a village level to reduce the problem that is likely to be caused by the water we use.

Martin Lokolo Justin
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November 6, 2014 in South Sudan |