Cholera Prevention and WASH in South Sudan
What is the problem?
South Sudan is among the countries where the majority of the people have neither access to safe drinking water nor the education or infrastructure to practice good water hygiene. According to a 2015 UNICEF report, only 40 percent of South Sudan’s population has access to safe drinking water; the remaining 60 percent draw their water from open streams or stagnant water holes during rainy seasons. Similarly, very few people use pit latrines, with close to 90 percent of the people still practicing open defecation in the bushes surrounding their homesteads.
In addition, hand washing and food hygiene practices in South Sudan are low due to poor personal hygiene, prevailing social norms and a lack of awareness about the importance of both hand washing and food hygiene.
All of these factors come together to exacerbate the population’s vulnerability to cholera and diarrheal diseases, such as dysentery and other acute intestinal worms that are passed through fecal routes.
What will GNF do?
The Global Needs Foundation plans to launch the “Cholera Prevention, Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project” in two South Sudanese states– Lol State and Central Equatoria. The overall objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability of 48,600 people to cholera and other water and sanitation related diseases. The total cost of this project will be $429,000. The more specific objectives include:
- Raising awareness in these two states on the importance of cholera prevention;
- Helping medical workers to develop cholera preparedness plans and monitor diarrheal disease incidences;
- Increasing access to safe water use by drilling boreholes, rehabilitating broken down water pumps and training pump mechanics to maintain those pumps;
- Reducing number of households practicing open defecation by helping people construct shared latrines for their homes and schools;
- Increasing number of households washing hands with soap or ash though trained “hygiene promoters” who will make house-to-house visits to educate families on good household hygiene practices .
Who is GNF partnering with on this project?
To achieve sustainable results, GNF will work with UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Health and WASH clusters. GNF will also enlist the help of local authorities in South Sudan who are in charge of enforcing safe food handling in shops and restaurants and are key in mobilizing communities for improved personal hygiene.