Published on: 11/06/2010
The WRAPP Equatoria program has accomplished the following major achievements: 92 new boreholes drilled, 70 borehole repaired, 19 springs protected, 22 hafirs expanded, 21 hand dug wells constructed, one eco-san public toilet and one school pit latrine installed, 280 household latrines dug, two rainwater harvesting schemes improved, and 23 different livelihoods improvement activities carried out. A total of more 230 Water and Sanitation Management Committees (WSMCs) have been established and took over the management of the facilities installed or rehabilitated. The program is estimated to have benefited over 100,000 people including 30,000 returnees. Pact was able to leverage funding from other sources to achieve additional activities in Equatoria Region including: 14 boreholes (plus 5 under another OFDA award), 3 public latrines, 24 borehole rehabilitations and 2 SWDS schemes, estimated to be providing safe potable water and improved sanitation to over 30,000 people.
Drilling conditions in Equatoria are significantly more complex than other regions of Sudan. More than 70% of all unsuccessfully drilled boreholes in the national water point database are in the Equatoria region. Drilling in Equatoria must be supported by extensive hydro-geological and geophysical investigation. There was no existing detailed study, map or information on the geology of the Equatoria region. The program relied on individual knowledge of drillers and professional geologists’ advise and support to conduct geophysical studies in some areas suspected to be challenging and with scarce possibility of finding ground water. There needs to be a comprehensive study and mapping of the Equatoria region by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI). The program encountered a total of 26 dry boreholes. Second attempts succeeded in getting successful wells in 14 communities and in at least one case the third attempt yielded a good yield well. Multiple drilling attempts were costly, however, for both the drilling contractor and WRAPP.
The capacity level of CBOs in southern Sudan is quite low, and an average course of training was often insufficient to ensure that CBOs were prepared to carry out field activities adequately. The six CBOs selected to promote and implement hand dug wells didn’t have any previous experience in construction of hand dug wells, and therefore required an extensive training and technical support. Logistical complexities delayed organizing of the training, and the 2008 dry season was over before the start of construction by the CBOs. In many cases construction materials, particularly for hand dug wells, had to be procured from neighboring countries, which carries its own challenges. Equipment not always in stock in the market at the required moment, tax and custom issues and transportation delays all pushed back the date when equipment and materials were delivered to the project site. Weak commitments and momentum by low capacity CBOs can also be a frustration.
WRAPP has been able to demonstrate that hygiene and sanitation awareness coupled with the installation of improved water facilities can trigger behavior changes in the community that will subsequently lead to a demand and initiative for sanitation facilities. At the same time WRAPP also discovered the importance of creating awareness about hygiene and sanitation in advance of the implementation of water facilities. This approach can guarantees a more enthusiastic participation, which leads to a higher level of acceptance and ownership by a larger group of community members, and supports greater sustainability of the program by reinforcing the link between water, sanitation and hygiene.
Most returnees have been exposed to the practice of using sanitation facilities and knowledge of hygiene awareness during their stay in either refugee camps or towns in neighboring countries. Returnees spearheaded the construction of household latrines in their host communities. They replicated what they had learned from outside and assisted in spreading hygiene and sanitation messages. Their active involvement was critical to spurring organic demand for improved sanitation.
Pact observed that community management of public latrines didn’t yield positive, sustainable outcomes. WRAPP does not intend to continue the construction of public latrines until there is an improvement in the general public’s attitude toward public latrines. Some places like Kapoeta town have shown positive progress in maintenance and use by privatizing their public latrines, and WRAPP has been in discussion with community management committees and local authorities to convince them to privatize their public latrines. WRAPP will continue to discuss with the local administration in Kaya to privatize the eco-san public latrine built in this program.
A key lesson learned is the benefit of resolving disputes that may arise during program implementation through traditional courts following community accepted culture norms. This involves communities in matters pertaining to issues around the program intervention and in a format they understand and find highly credible. This reinforces local authority and legitimizes local means of dispute resolution which can be critical to avoiding violent conflict over water and other resources and issues.
Kit One is a small community in Magwi County comprised of Acholi returnees who had been living in Ugandan refugee camps during the war. Having been sensitized to household latrines during their time in Uganda, the community responded very enthusiastically to the household latrine project implemented by AWDA (Acholi Women’s Development Association). In addition to the 20 pits dug for the project, 40 other families also dug pits. In light of this demand-driven response for sanitation, WRAPP modified the grant to AWDA to add materials so that the additional 40 latrines can be built as well. In addition WRAPP delivered 15 plastic slabs from other areas where the CBOs have failed to distribute the slabs to household and supplied to AWDA. The 15 slabs were used to complete house hold latrines successfully.
Source: Pact Sudan Country Program (2009). Water for Recovery and Peace Program Equatoria (WRAPP Equatoria) : final report. Washington, DC, USA, USAID. Download full report
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