UNICEF hands over five water stations to Yei residents

UNICEF hands over five water stations to Yei residents

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) handed over five water stations in Yei River Country on Tuesday to provide clean drinking water to the residents.

The water supply facilities were constructed by UNICEF with funding from the Federal Republic of Germany through its Embassy in South Sudan.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the minister of water and irrigation, Pal Mai, decried the rampant water shortage which he said perpetuates various problems.

Mai said there is a water crisis currently in Yei with the return of refugees from Uganda.

“South Sudan does not have access to clean drinking water… “The majority of the people are exposed to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea,” he said.

“Before the construction, people faced difficulties getting clean drinking water; this project means a lot to the people here,” Pal added.

The representative of UNICEF, Hamida Ramadani, said the chlorine dosing mechanism used minimises the risk of water contamination during collection and storage.

She said a convenient, safe, and affordable water supply reduces the risks of waterborne diseases, particularly diarrhoea, and helps mitigate the impact of malnutrition on vulnerable children.

“The comprehensive water supply system, which comprises five boreholes, 59 water kiosks, a 33-kilometre pipeline around the town, and a storage capacity of 375,000 litres, will benefit more than 61,000 residents of Yei town,” Hamida said.

She said the provision of safe drinking water close to people’s homes also alleviates the burden that women and girls shoulder in water collection.

The German Ambassador to South Sudan, Tobias Eichner, said the water facility in Yei is owned by the public, so there is a need for the community to maintain it.

The water facility construction that started in December 2021 cost $1.2 million and will supply water to more than 61,000 residents of Yei.