The soap and bucket journey

Distributing essential supplies for preventing COVID and other diseases.

Helene Sandbu Ryeng
Supplies being loaded on a truck
27 April 2020


In an emergency, moving critical supplies fast is essential to protect and save lives. In South Sudan, low immunization rates combined with high morbidity among children and the threat of COVID-19 including multiple preventive restrictions is challenging the entire humanitarian community.

While we need to respond to the new threat, we need to continue to respond to the old threats but in a safe way. Essential to both is hygiene supplies.



A man carrying a box


Box after box, full of buckets, is carried into the UNICEF warehouse in Juba before they will be distributed.

Buckets might seem like a very ordinary item, but faced with a disease where soap and water is the only weapon, setting up handwashing stations is essential.


A man walking past soap


 Boxes of soap ready to be dispatched from the warehouse, as the Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Mission, Alain Noudehou, is visiting.

Washing hands with soap is essential to preventing a wide range of diseases, from diarrhoeal to COVID-19.


Supplies being loaded on a truck


A batch of soap and buckets is loaded on a truck to be taken to the final destination. UNICEF has distributed handwashing stations to health and nutrition centres to ensure the activity can continue in the context of COVID-19. 


A mother with her child on her lap
Julia with Farida on her lap at Gurei Primary Health Care Centre


Gurei Primary Health Care Centre in Juba is one of the institutions that have received hygiene supplies from UNICEF. In the nutrition ward, all the mothers receive soap they can bring home to increase the hygienic situation. Many children become acute malnourished because of diarrhoeal diseases that could have been prevented through improved hygiene.


A man washing hands
Mayon Real is washing is hands outside his home in PoC1


In congested areas such as the Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, UNICEF and our partners have distributed handwashing stations to the residents, as physical distancing is almost impossible to practice- leaving hygiene as one of the few applicable preventive measures left.


A man packing UNICEF braded boxes


UNICEF is committed to ensuring essential services are continuing in the context of COVID-19 while help preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.


UNICEF's COVID-19 response in South Sudan is done in partnership with the World Bank. UNICEF is grateful for our sector donors who continue to support which is essential for a rapid response to any emergency, including Germany, Japan and USAID.