15 June 2012

South Sudan: ICRC Hands Over Water Yards to Akobo Population

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jonglei State yesterday handed over to authorities in Akobo County three constructed solar powered water points that can supply clean water for up to 55, 000 people, the organization estimated.

"The ICRC has been working closely with the local community and the authorities to develop a sustainable solution to the water shortage in the areas," said Claudio Deola, The chief water engineer in the release.

According to the organization, the solar powered water system installed in the county will pump approximately 90,000 liters of water every hour, granting local population regular and ample water supply.

"Today we are inaugurating these three water yards to provide clean water for the people of Akobo" said Gavin Macmillians water engineer after cutting the ribbon of declaring the system open amid applaud from the locals.

The organization added that over the coming years, they will continue to support the authorities to train water technicians and ensure installations are properly maintained.

The project has been joint venture between solar ICRC and the directorate of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation of Akobo County through the State's Ministry of Physical infrastructure.

Abraham Jok Akuein, Executive Director and the acting commissioner in the County in appreciation to ICRC said safer water system installed was great achievement to the people of Akobo County to fight water borne diseases.

Jok added the county was enjoying relative peace after disarmament exercise that put guns only to the hands of the government.

He said at the time on speaking to The Citizen in Akobo county headquarters, the level of insecurity has greatly reduced and the then displaced civilians were able to return and cultivate.

In the same context, Gabriel Gai, state representative at the launching site said in spite of general water problem in the state authorities are working to invest installment of solar powered water system in other counties in dire need of clean water.

Gai call on the authority and the locals in the county to collaborate to laid down mechanisms of maintenance and share costs of the system as well as safe guarding it.

Akobo, 5 km to Ethiopia border had large number of people displaced following a cycle of violence the state experienced since 2009 which gave rise to water shortage due to limited access.

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