Urban Water Supply System Launched in Yambio
Yambio, South Sudan – 28 September – Officials from the Government of South Sudan, UNICEF, and the German Embassy in South Sudan inaugurated the recently completed urban water supply system today. It marks a significant step in securing a sustainable and safe water supply for the town. The Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, the State Minister of Housing, Land and Public Utilities, the UNICEF Representative, and the German Head of Cooperation joined the community in Yambio to launch the project, which will serve 45,600 residents of Yambio town with clean and safe water, fostering better health and improving lives.
UNICEF implemented the project with funding from the German Government through the German Development Bank KfW. The comprehensive water supply system now comprises five boreholes, 31 community water kiosks, a 40-kilometre pipeline around the town, and a total storage capacity of 250,000 litres.
Previously, only 36% of the population had access to the limited-capacity water system, while others relied on seasonal and unsafe handpumps. The expansion now serves 83% of the total population.
To ensure water safety, a chlorine dosing mechanism minimises the risk of contamination during collection and storage. A convenient, safe, and affordable water supply reduces the risks of waterborne diseases, particularly diarrhoea, and helps mitigate the impact of malnutrition on vulnerable children.
Providing safe drinking water close to people’s homes also alleviates the burden on women and girls, who traditionally bear the responsibility of water collection. By creating easier access to safe water collection, people now have more time for other essential activities, enhancing their overall well-being and improving family dynamics.
"This is an important development for the population in Yambio. Clean, accessible water is not just a necessity but a fundamental human right. It is a positive step in the resilience-based development in South Sudan. We are grateful to the German Government for their support and investment in this vital infrastructure," said Hamida Lasseko, Representative of UNICEF South Sudan.
The boreholes and pumps are solar-powered, reducing the need for diesel generators. The water extraction capacity is approximately 39,000 litres per hour (l/h). Solar power saves the water utility about $261 per day compared to full reliance on generators. The utility charges 25 SSP (US 2.5 cents) per 20-litre jerry can for the community.
“The impressive water supply infrastructure in Yambio was made possible by a 2.38 million Euro contribution from German Development Cooperation via KfW Development Bank. This project clearly shows: that Germany takes its responsibility as one of the biggest donors to South Sudan very seriously,” said Christian Sedat, the German Ambassador-designate to South Sudan.
UNICEF implemented the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the State Government of West Equatoria, and Yambio Town Urban Water and Sanitation Company Ltd., which has completed the Yambio water supply system expansion.
About Germany’s assistance to South Sudan
Besides providing humanitarian aid, Germany supports the peace process and the long-term development of South Sudan, primarily in the fields of local governance, rural development, sustainable agriculture, gender equality, and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan