In the parched land of South Sudan, finding water is never easy. Doing so for 35,000 refugees is even more challenging. With effort after effort turning up little water and even less hope, the mission to ensure the health of the Sudanese people is becoming more dire.
With the need for water bound to grow, UNHCR and its partners airlifted in a more sophisticated water drill than currently exists in the country, one that can dig deeper into the soil and utilize longer pipes to bring the water to the surface. All this is in the hope of finding much needed water before the next influx of refugees.
South Sudan’s environment is starkly beautiful but harsh. During the annual six-month dry season, daily temperatures often rise above 120°F. Every day, millions of South Sudanese, usually women and children, must trek miles to collect water from ponds, marshes, ditches, or hand-dug wells. This water is often contaminated with disease-causing parasites and bacteria. The results are pain, sickness, even death, especially among infants and children.