October 7, 2015 | Posted in Civil Society Development (CSD), Countries, Humanitarian intervention, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Quality, South Sudan, Thematic areas | By Rebecka Woods
October 7th, 2015
Since December 2013, the conflict in South Sudan has devastated the lives of millions of South Sudanese and displaced more than 2.2 million people. IAS is on ground in Northern Bahr el Ghazal implementing a large development project on Life changing food security, water and community development. So far 23 000 have been reached but the goal is to help 25 000 people.
Over 90% of the people in South Sudan are engulfed in extreme poverty and major humanitarian consequences are widespread ; high rates of death, disease, and injuries, severe food insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and a major malnutrition crisis.
Rural communities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are particularly vulnerable when it comes to food and water insecurity. Here is IAS helping people to grow food crops like sorghum, groundnuts and sesam.
-We want the communities to lead their own development process and therefore we train farmers on modern food production techniques.Farmers are trained on principles and practices in crop food production, post-harvest handling and storage of cereals and grain legumes, says Zaitun Ragota, Programme Manager IAS South Sudan.
-This training is very important because it equips the beneficiaries with knowledge that help in preventing or minimizing post-harvest crop losses, says Zaitun.
Improving hygiene and sanitation
Another component of the project is Water, Sanitaton and Hygiene (WASH) which includes new boreholes and construction of mini water yards. Each community who receives water are also educated in two levels of training. The first level is in hygiene and sanitation practices.
-Northern Bahr el Ghazal has a long history of communities practicing open defecation in respect to their cultural norms and beliefs. This results in bad sanitation and that diseases are spread. However, training in hygiene and sanitation has been very effective in changing the mindset of the communities, says Zaitun.
IAS has so far drilled 11 new boreholes, rehabilitated 20 broken boreholes, constructed 3 new mini water yards and constructed latrines in three schools.
Promote girls education
The second level of training is on common cross cutting issues which includes gender, early marriages, child protection, HIV/AIDS and girls education.
-Through trainings on cross cutting issues IAS creates awareness on the dangers of early marriages and through girls activities we advocate for girls to remain in school. An important aspect of this is access to water. Girls are the prime water collectors for the families and often have to walk many hours every day to collect water which gives them no time to attend school. But by reducing the walking distance to the water points girls return to school and finish their education.
Women, men and children are all very positive and excited to IAS interventions, says Zaitun.
-All have been actively involved in the implementation of this project and share the feeling of owning it together.
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Zaitun Rogota