Charity project: Rumbek, South Sudan

South Sudan is a country in East Africa that has been independent since 2011. Since then, the country has faced many challenges.

The most recent civil war began in 2013 and lasted until 2020, killing thousands of people and displacing millions. South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is suffering from famine, there is little infrastructure and no functional healthcare system.   

The drinking water supply is very challenging. Around 50% of the population have no access to clean drinking water. They often rely on water sources such as rivers and ponds, which are often very polluted and lead to disease. In many regions, dirty drinking water is one of the most common causes of death, especially among children under the age of five. Child mortality in South Sudan is one of the highest in the world. According to UNICEF statistics, 75 out of every 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday every year.

Together with BBM Austria, STÜWA wants to find sustainable solutions to give as many local people as possible access to clean drinking water.

Our colleague Stefan Michel, a professional water well driller, spent two weeks on site in Rumbek in October 2023 together with specialists from BBM Austria to assess the quality of the various boreholes and wells. Rumbek is centrally located in South Sudan and has a large number of boreholes. The aim of the investigations and assessments was to record the current status of the wells in order to ensure good water quality for the local population in the long term. The most important finding is that there is sufficient water, the water level is 8-9 metres. However, the water quality poses a major challenge as it is far below the minimum standards.

The following measures are necessary to ensure a sustainable improvement in the clean drinking water supply.
In order to be able to continue using the existing wells, as many as possible should be regenerated. The result should be documented with a camera inspection. If the well performance is not sufficient, new wells will be drilled. The focus will be on a centralised drinking water supply system so that as many people as possible can benefit from access to clean drinking water. A photovoltaic system is to be installed at the central drinking water supply point. The electricity generated is to be reinvested in the pump drive in order to reduce the costs incurred. Our high-quality STÜWA casings, screens and pump systems will ensure the necessary operational reliability. The project team wants the local people to use the wells responsibly. The project team will train some local people so that they can carry out minor maintenance and repairs to the wells. Only with this support can long-term utilisation be guaranteed.

Stefan Michel from STÜWA summarises his impressions:
"I am grateful that I can contribute my knowledge to Rumbek and hopefully give many people access to clean drinking water. The goal must be to reduce the alarmingly high child mortality rate in the long term."