Water for South Sudan

Water for South Sudan
Formation2003 (2003)
FounderSalva Dut
Legal status501(c) organization
HeadquartersRochester, New York
Wau, South Sudan
Region served
Rural South Sudan

Water for South Sudan (formerly known as Water for Sudan) is a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to create access to and monitor safe drinking water for communities located in remote rural areas of South Sudan. The goal of Water For South Sudan (WFSS) is to increase the quality of life and health of families in South Sudan by drilling wells to provide fresh, safe potable water, and improving hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of great need.


The history of the organization centers on its founder, Salva Dut. In 1985, Sudan was wracked by the Second Sudanese Civil War. Millions died and millions more were displaced, fleeing to refugee camps in Ethiopia, Kenya and other neighboring countries. Finally, in 2005, after over two decades of war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. A truce was declared and the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was established for that region.

Among those who originally fled through barren, war-torn southern desert were thousands of children, mostly boys, some as young as five. They became known as the "Lost Boys of Sudan." Salva Dut was one of those boys. As an 11-year-old Dinka from Tonj in southwest Sudan, Dut fled first to Ethiopia. Then, as a teenager, he led 1500 "Lost Boys" hundreds of miles through the southern Sudan desert to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Relocated to Rochester NY USA in 1996, he now leads Water For South Sudan.[1]


In 2005 , drilling operations began. Five wells were drilled in Sudanese villages in the first year. Since then, over 350[2] wells have been drilled, each serving approximately 1,000-1,500 people.[3] It costs WFSS approximately $15,000 per well which includes ALL costs related to drilling such as overhead (less than 20%).

People in the villages where (WFSS) operates become partners in the process of making safe, drinkable water available there. The WFSS team trains the well manager and provides spare parts.[4] Each village where WFSS drills also receives a three-day hygiene education program taught by one of two hygiene teams at WFSS. Key topics include personal hygiene, safe water practices, food safety, safe disposal of waste and women's hygiene.[5]


Water for South Sudan's operations teams, based in Wau, work in remote villages in the Bahr el Ghazal region in South Sudan.[6]

Drilling a borehole, often hundreds of feet deep to reach the aquifer’s water, is a technical challenge. That challenge is magnified by the remote nature and harsh climate of the region. The drilling rig requires water to operate. Gravel of a certain size and shape for use in the borehole must be located. Compressed air must be available. Soil must be tested and retested to measure progress. Diesel fuel is required at all times as is a special polymer to keep the borehole intact until pipe is sunk for the well. And of course, the crew must be fed every day of the drilling season.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Salva's Story". Water For South Sudan.
  2. ^ "Water Wells". Water For South Sudan. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  3. ^ "Drilling information" (PDF). Water For South Sudan.
  4. ^ "Empowering Villages". Water For South Sudan.
  5. ^ "Hygiene". Water For South Sudan.
  6. ^ "Water Wells". Water For South Sudan.
  7. ^ "Drilling challenges". Water For South Sudan.

Further reading

External links