Faces of water

A UNICEF water project has changed the lives of community members in Kpirabe

Helene Sandbu Ryeng/Mark Naftalin
A girl drinking water from her hands
01 December 2020

Yambio, South Sudan - In South Sudan, fetching water is considered a job for children and women. It is hard work. One liter of water weighs approximately 1 kg, meaning a full 20 liter jerrycan weighs 20 kg. In Kpirabe in Yambio, the water source was located in a depression and women and children would injure themselves when getting water. An innovative UNICEF supported water projected changed that.

A girl looking up while getting water
Queen Philip (5) fetching water from the water kiosk

Five-year-old Queen Philip is fetching water from the water kiosk. The water from the spring is collected in a reservoir, treated to make it safe for drinking and then pumped up to the water kiosk. No more climbing steep hills with heavy jerrycans. 

Girls carrying water
Evan Jerfas (15), Flora Isac (5) and Mami edward (13) are carrying water from the water kiosk.

The jerrycans still have to be carried home from the water kiosk. Everyone is helping, also the youngest including Flora Isac (5)

A boy splashing water to his face

Water is a source of life and fun. Bakindo Jackson (13) is splashing his face with water.

A girl is looking at her reflection in the water
Minala Sam is looking at her reflection in the water

Cleaning and washing have become much easier with easy access to water. "Whenever we have to clean something, we just go and get water. It is easy," several community members mentioned. Minala Sam (10) can see her reflection in the wash basin.

Two boys drinking water
Mousa Iminano (10) to the left and Richard Nomono (10) are enjoying clean water

Diarrhoea caused by dirty water is one of the main reasons for child morbidity in South Sudan. Clean water is a prerequisite for healthy children, children like Mousa and Richard which can enjoy a glass of water.  

A woman holding a bowl of water

Susan Alex (16) says her community is healthier because of the water project, which is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank. The project is also supported by  Infineon and the Germany National Committee for UNICEF.

A unicef worker standing in the window of a water kiosk
UNICEF Wash officer Christine Ochieng is overseeing the fetching of water from the water kiosk

UNICEF is looking into how we can do similar projects in urban areas to ensure safe access to safe water for all children and their families.