Water, sanitation, hygiene


UNICEF in action

Planned results



© UNICEF South Sudan/2006/Cranston
A boy drinks from a pool of water in Akuem, Northern Bhar Ghazal. About 32 percent of South Sudanese don't have access to clean drinking water and remain at risk of related diseases

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) underpin many of children’s fundamental human rights, and ultimately national development.
In South Sudan, two decades of sustained conflict and neglect have turned potable water into a treasured and scarce resource. Limited access to water and sanitation has contributed to poor child health – a third of children under the age of five suffer from diarrhoea. Because of the limited number of water points, water has also been a source of much of the internal conflict between communities.

Recent surveys show that more than 30 per cent of the people in South Sudan do not have access to safe water supplies. Even less, 15 per cent, access adequate sanitary latrines, one of the lowest service coverage statistics in the world. Only 45 per cent of South Sudan’s 3,349 basic primary schools have access to safe water and a mere 17 percent have adequate sanitary latrines for both girls and boys.

South Sudan remains host to 98 per cent of the world’s remaining Guinea worm cases, despite a reduction in the caseload from more than 20,500 in 2006 to below 1,000 in 2011. Concerted efforts are being spearheaded by UNICEF to achieve eradication of this debilitating disease by providing safe and clean water to affected communities.

Making improvements in the areas of water and sanitation is vital to transforming people’s lives. Engaging with communities about choices they wish to make around safe water and sanitation provides an important entry point for human rights-principled dialogue on peace building and sustainable service delivery. Achieving community stability through timely and appropriate safe water improvement interventions is a key priority for WASH interventions in South Sudan



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