Guest post by Elizabeth Smith, guest blogger for the Canadian Red Cross

Nicolas Gauvin, a shelter and infrastructure advisor with the Canadian Red Cross, discusses potential sources of clean drinking water in Gogrial, South Sudan with colleagues from the South Sudan Red Cross and community members. Supporting communities to install, manage and maintain water and sanitation facilities in some of the most remote areas of South Sudan is a key part of efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child survival in Warrap State, where Gogrial is located.
Supporting communities to install, manage and maintain water and sanitation facilities in some of the most remote areas of South Sudan is a key part of efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child survival
In close partnership with the national and state Ministries of Health, Red Cross partners, with the generous support of Global Affairs Canada, are delivering this Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) five-year program that includes redressing water, sanitation and hygiene challenges.

According to Nicolas, people have “really limited” access to water in this part of South Sudan.  “They sometimes have to walk more than one hour just to get access to a poor, muddy and sometimes contaminated source of water,” he notes.

In order to find good sources of water, or to rehabilitate previous water points, it is important that the water experts and program managers meet with the community to discuss the issues and to find a way to solve the needs together. Also, the role in the community in maintaining the water source can be explored and defined at meetings like this one, Nicolas explains.

Through this program, it is anticipated that 350,000 people will have access to clean water and sanitation and, in this way, minimize disease and prevent premature deaths.