As a result of the long protracted and bitter civil water in Southern Sudan, the Bahr el Ghazal region lacked all the basic resources for survival, including potable water. For instance, in Tonj County, there was no potable water source within a radius of 23 kilometres of the village of Ngabakok.
The only available water sources are highly polluted with disease coursing pathogens (Plate 1). At the peak of the 20-plus years civil war and the famine, when the world’s resources were mobilized to curtail the acute mortality rates in the region, MEK staff were very instrumental in conducting field surveys to identify and characterize the groundwater systems in the area, and to develop a robust water supply program to alleviate the acute water needs in the region – a prerequisite for the success of the complementary humanitarian interventions such as the provision of primary health services to the population debilitated by water-borne diseases but especially to the critical sick babies and their nursing mothers.
MEK staff provided the critically needed technical know-how in the identification of water sources and the construction of sustainable potable water points through the construction of hand-dug wells, hand-drilled and mechanized drilled wells (Plates 2a, 2b, 3a and 3b).