Revolutionary Jerry Can road tested in Sudan
Collecting water is a backbreaking job that takes up many hours of the day. In Sudan, like many other parts of the world, the task usually falls to girls and women who skip school and risk their own safety to make long journeys to fetch water. They use whatever buckets and containers they have which are often old, leaky and cumbersome to carry. When water is scarce, every drop counts and safe and easy filling, carrying and pouring is vital.
When water is scarce, every drop counts and safe and easy filling, carrying and pouring is vital. Secure storage is also essential to help reduce water-related diseases. To this end, UNICEF and partners are testing a new ten litre collapsible, lightweight jerry can in four countries, including Sudan, in a venture to find the container that makes this essential task easier and ensure that no drop is wasted.
Jamat Zalingei IDP camp, near Geneina, West Darfur was chosen for the trial in Sudan where 200 households were identified, benefiting approximately nearly 550 women and just over 450 men. UNICEF and Catholic Relief Services allocated two jerry cans to each household – one old jerry can design and one new collapsible model. All will provide feedback after using both containers during the six-week trial.
On this trial, David Tsetse, UNICEF West & Central Darfur State Representative, says: ''The Jerry can pilot project under testing in El Geneina is an innovative project designed to improve the way people collect and store water, it will ultimately provide better access to safe water supplies and reducing water related diseases. The project is currently testing in four countries and the monitoring findings from end-users will guide humanitarian approach on emergency jerry can distribution. This is an innovative project that is expected to benefit to the humanitarian sector in emergency situation''.
Since parallel trials are being carried out in the Central African Republic, Haiti and Afghanistan, the preferred way of carrying containers will differ between each country – on backs, on heads or in hands – project managers anticipate receiving a variety of opinions about how easy the new jerry cans are to manage.
The trial is a continuation of a previous project where UNICEF Supply Division collaborated with Kaos Pilots, Kolding Design School and the Danish Technical University to develop various concepts to find the best rigid, durable, sustainable water container for distribution by humanitarian operators.