Water, sanitation, hygiene


UNICEF in action

Planned results


UNICEF in action

© UNICEF South Sudan/2008/Pirozzi
Pupils in Bandaar Girl's primary school, Malakal use the latrine and hand washing facility provided as part of UNICEF's programme to improve sanitation and hygiene in schools.

UNICEF is using three strategic approaches to improve the existing situation and generate sustained results.

  1. Sector Policy and Planning – UNICEF is working to forge a framework for the reform of the WASH sector, generate strategic sub-sector investment plans and build a stronger  evidence base to support the sector’s planning process. The South Sudan WASH
    Information Clearing House has been developed to serve all stakeholders in providing a web-based GIS mapping service to collate all WASH infrastructure information across the country. Maps and data input forms can be accessed and downloaded at: www.sswichmwrigoss. org. Key challenges remain in extending the government’s information management capacity to the furthest decentralised level possible and in promoting private sector participation in the implementation and management of water and sanitation services.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  2. Safe Water Supply – This involves providing boreholes, new sources of water provision and rehabilitating old systems. UNICEF is also supporting the return and reintegration of   internally displaced people and refugees into communities through the provision of safe water supplies. Particular efforts are being made to provide new water points as a key component of community peace building and stabilization efforts.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  3. Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion – The approach entails mobilizing community self-help support to abandon open defecation in favour of improved latrine use and hygienic practice. This involves demand mobilisation through intensive community-level assessment and the creation of local market-based sanitation and hygiene product services to the community. High priority is accorded to those areas that have a history of acute watery diarrhoea, as well as those where children are experiencing acute and chronic under nutrition

© UNICEF South Sudan/2008/Pirozzi
A boy drinks from a handpump installed by UNICEF in Jiir Primary School, Rumbek, Lakes State.

Key Achievements

  •  A 40 per cent increase in access to improved sources of drinking water, from 48 percent in 2006 to 69 per cent in 2010, through the provision of new and rehabilitated water points.
  • A 9 per cent rise in access to improved sanitation facilities, from 6 per cent in 2006 to 15 per cent in 2010, through the construction of latrines.
  • Decrease in the prevalence of diarrhoea among children under five, from 43 per cent in 2006 to 32 per cent in 2010, due to improvements in the disposal of human excreta and personal hygiene habits.
  • Establishment of the Water Information Management System (WIMS) for improved data collection and data exchange between the states and the central WIMS unit.

There is a host of challenges that impede implementation and monitoring in South Sudan such as the chronically low capacity of government institutions and the private sector, and unreliable or inadequate data, which makes planning more reactive and the allocation of resources less rational. Rapidly changing determinants of field access significantly raise the cost of service delivery, as do security restrictions while travelling to the most difficult to-reach areas of the country. Long periods of heavy rains and weak road infrastructure restrict fieldwork to only four months of the year.



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