South Sudan’s Second Joint Sector Review on WASH concludes in Juba, South Sudan

01 March 2024
South Sudan leaders and development partners during the National Joint Sector Review Conference on WASH
UNICEF/Ruati
South Sudan leaders and development partners during the National Joint Sector Review Conference on WASH

Juba, South Sudan - A three-day joint sector review on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has concluded in Juba, South Sudan, bringing together key national and state ministries and development partners led by the national Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) under the theme “Transitioning from Humanitarian to Sustainable Development in the WASH Sector.”

The goal is to strengthen collaboration to accelerate progress in achieving universal access to safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services towards the 2030 targets. The conference analysed key avenues for achieving the efficient, inclusive, and sustainable provision of these WASH services and support WASH structures within communities and institutions.

The conference heard the new 2023 data for South Sudan from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme reporting on the progress of the SDG for water and sanitation. Access to basic water supply has fallen from 41% in 2010 to 39% in 2020. During the same period, basic sanitation fell slightly from 16% to 14%, while open defecation rose from 60% to 63%. For the first time, there is data on hand washing; only 22% of the population have handwashing facilities with soap and water in their homes.

“The conference developed a clear roadmap to transition from humanitarian dependency to sustainable development in all sectors, especially the WASH sector, to achieve sustainable development. Also, this served as a precedent towards a clear, concise, and implementable WASH policy, hinged on a transparent delivery system based on a well-defined institutional framework for the WASH sector,” said Hon Pal Mai Deng, Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in South Sudan

The Government and development partners reiterate their commitment to achieving sector targets and announced progress towards sustainable development of the WASH sector,” he said.

The specific objectives of the conference were to review water and sanitation sector service delivery and governance at all levels,  strengthen water and sanitation sector coordination by addressing gaps, harmonising approaches and partnerships and finance for the sector, provide clarity on institutional arrangements for the provision of water supply and sanitation in urban, emerging towns and rural areas, address gender equity and social inclusion in water and sanitation service delivery, and foster local and private sector WASH services providers.

“Major donors, US, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands remain committed to supporting the people of South Sudan attain healthy, productive and prosperous communities where everyone has access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services,” said Bouwe-Jan Smeding, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

“To achieve the WASH targets, the government of South Sudan needs to take the lead in coordinating partner activities, increase funding to the sector and create one vision for WASH in South Sudan,” he said     

Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, added that “It is UNICEF’s key priority to support and strengthen the WASH sector across the country to achieve sustainable WASH services and accelerate improvement on SDGs, in particular, SDG6.1 on Water Supply and SD6.2 for Sanitation and hygiene,”

“Our support to the Government in conducting this WASH joint sector review is an effort to bring together key actors from all the subnational governments and other stakeholders to strengthen WASH systems and mobilise support and resources to fill the gaps and address the challenges in water and sanitation affecting the children of South Sudan.”

Media contacts

Richard Ruati
Communication Specialist
UNICEF South Sudan
Tel: +211 92 13 9578

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