UNMISS-funded solar-powered water treatment plant boosts residents and returnees in Pieri

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers peacebuilding QIPs quick impact projects water solar environment Bor

To help residents in Pieri access clean and potable water, UNMISS has funded and handed over a solar-powered water treatment unit. Photo by Mach Samuel/UNMISS.

18 Mar 2024

UNMISS-funded solar-powered water treatment plant boosts residents and returnees in Pieri

Mach Samuel

JONGLEI – A lack of access to safe water remains a significant challenge for the people of South Sudan. Families are often forced to use contaminated water sources, exposing them to waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and malaria, with their quest for clean water further complicated by both climate change and intercommunal violence.

The situation in Pieri in Jonglei’s Uror County is no different, but a recent development is offering hope to some 6,000 households and the approximately 37,000 internally displaced persons currently living in the area. This population is set to benefit from a solar-powered water facility, funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and recently handed over to the community.

“Through low-cost, big-impact projects like this one, we aim to assist as many people as possible. We also hope that this water point will make the reintegration of displaced people easier,” said Geetha Pious, Head of the peacekeeping mission’s Field Office in Bor. UNMISS Head of Bor Field Office.

Its installation is set to ease, literally speaking, the considerable burden on women and children, who are habitually tasked with fetching water from far away.

“We have had to travel more than 13 kilometres to collect water. It is not only hard work, but it has also exposed us to attacks, including abductions and intercommunal killings,” Nyagou Pay Ka, one of them, explained.

“This facility will save us time; we can spend more time with our children, who can now go to school instead of having to help us with carrying water,” added Nyamal Gadet Machar, another heavy-lifting woman.

The project was implemented by Impact Actions, a national non-governmental organization.