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Water for South Sudan

South Sudan lies in the northeastern region of Africa, an area dangerously close to the equator. Due to its location, the country experiences droughts six months of every year and consistent temperatures around 120 degrees. In a place with these conditions, water is crucial.

Every day the people of South Sudan struggle to find water; oftentimes traveling miles only to find water that is contaminated with parasites and bacteria.

Water for South Sudan (WFSS) is an organization that is dedicated to eliminating the struggles facing those in South Sudan to find not just water, but safe water. Nationally it is based in Rochester, New York. The organization believes that with increased access to water comes increased access to education as well as a dynamic economy.

As of this past May, Water for South Sudan had drilled 217 wells for the people of South Sudan. A well can supply clean water to thousands of people. With this expansive progress, over 500,000 South Sudanese are now finally accessing clean water.

According to Guide Star, the basis of contributions to Water for South Sudan come from organizations like schools and churches. Yet, individuals rank as a close second, bringing in over $216,000 from 2011 to 2012.

Water for South Sudan has experienced  some difficulties. In December of 2013, conflict arose in Juba, the capital city. However, founder of WFSS, Salva Dut, continued the organization’s aid and continues to advocate for peace.

“We should not give up on that,” said Salva. “War comes and goes in South Sudan, but we will find a way to be peaceful. Peace will come from the people.”

Salva Dut, along with other members, frequently reach out to the U.S. and even travel to Washington D.C. to implore the U.S.’s continued aid and support.

Due to continuous aid, more than just physical ailments have been alleviated. Since these December conflicts, better relationships are being formed among the previously warring people, proving that with increased numbers of wells and a consistent supply of water, people have the ability to better get along.

In addition, the time saved by women and children walking to access water can in turn be dedicated to an education. Thus, gender gaps are beginning to be narrowed, which can only advance the economy.

It starts with a single effort, a single focus, like increased access to water, to influence the long-term goals the world is aiming to achieve.

– Kathleen Lee

Sources: Guide Star
Photo: Huffington Post