4 March 2014 - Allowing people easier access to safe drinking water at affordable rates in Terekeka County, Central Equatoria State, UNMISS handed over a biosand water facility to the local community today.
The facility will be used to purify rain water and any drawn from rivers and streams, said William Kolong Pioth, director of Pan Aweil Development Agency, implementing partner of the UNMISS-funded Quick Impact Project (QIP).
“We want each and every family in South Sudan to have clean water,” he said, noting that filters produced from the facility would be sold at affordable prices and generate income for communities.
Mr. Pioth said the project was targeting people unable to afford bottled water or living far from reliable water points. He said each filter would cost 150 South Sudanese pounds (about $35).
Some 60 community leaders have been trained to install filters and monitor their condition every two months after installation.
UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Campion Maxwebo said the filters would assist in reducing incidents of children drowning in the River Nile as they fetch water as well as reduce waterborne diseases.
“We hope to see the impact of this project in the reduction of diarrheal diseases (and) amoeba, among children and in the entire population,” said Mr. Maxwebo.
Community members appreciated completion of the water project, which they agreed would minimize waterborne illnesses.
“We used to suffer from diarrhea… and cholera before because we drew water directly from the Nile,” said Silisina Kaka, a 40-year old mother of nine. “Now I think we shall not suffer any longer.”
Emmanuel Clement, head of the project, said it would also be useful in keeping youth busy and help them earn an income.
“If people have something to do, they will have too little time to raid or steal cattle,” he said.
According to Mr. Pioth, every household in the county will be able to have a filter in the next six months. So far, the six-month project had produced 214 filters.
A similar project is being conducted in Kajo Keji, another county in Central Equatoria State, with UNMISS QIP funding.