23rd March 2023
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Citizens want national gov’t to invest in safe, clean water

Author: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A resident of an oil-producing area fetches dirty water from a pond in April 2021. The regime change advocates have been appealing to leaders to bring piped water, electrify towns and keep every citizen safe | Credit | Courtesy

As South Sudan joins other countries in marking the World Water Day, some members of the public are calling on the government to invest in water infrastructure to improve access to safe and clean water in the country.

They said despite plenty of water from the Nile River, the citizens do not have access to adequate clean drinking water.

In 2021, the UN estimated that 5.9 million people in South Sudan lack or have inadequate access to clean water.

Currently, because there is nearly no piped water in Juba, the population is dependent on water being supplied by commercial water tankers.

It’s estimated that 100 liters of water cost 700 South Sudanese Pounds or 1 US dollar in some areas in the city.

Those who cannot afford resort to using dirty water from the near-by streams.

Aid agencies have cautioned that dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene are the main contributors to acute watery diarrhea which is one of the leading causes of child mortality in South Sudan.

Before the 2013 and 2016 conflicts, the government of South Sudan tried to avail clean water to some residents of Juba.

This was to be done in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA.

The Juba clean water project included a water treatment plant with the construction of a service reservoir and pipes for distribution in Juba.

Marginalized groups such as women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

Speaking on the Dawn program Tuesday, some members of the public called on the government to provide water for all.

“My message goes to the government, we should not always rely on NGOs, God had given us this River Nile and we should make good use of it,” Isaac, a Juba resident appealed.

Another participant, Franco Sebit said “Water is very important in our lives, and it is a right of everyone. We need water for drinking, eating and washing among others. The government has the sole responsibility of proving us with clean drinking water. South Sudanese should by now have access to clean water,”

Others also called on the government to construct Dams.

“This is the responsibility of the government, it should also construct for us Dam, ” Santino Deng, a resident of Wau town in Western Bahr el Ghazal stressed.

Held on 22 March every year since 1993, the world water day focuses on the importance of freshwater.

The day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis.

A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. This 2022, the focus is groundwater, an invisible resource with an impact visible everywhere.

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