USAID Announces New Five-Year, Gender-Aware, Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Activity
Following a publicly announced and competitive selection process, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a five-year contract with DT Global to expand equitable and sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in the 13 counties that are the focus of USAID’s development strategy in South Sudan:
Kapoeta North and Budi counties in Eastern Equatoria State
Akobo, Duk, Pibor, and Uror counties in Jonglei State
Leer, Mayendit, and Panyijar counties in Unity State
Baliet and Ulang counties in Upper Nile State
Jur River and Wau counties in Western Bahr-el Ghazal
These 13 counties are among the poorest, most isolated, least assisted places in South Sudan. By focusing multi-layered assistance in these severely underdeveloped counties, USAID seeks to build community and household resilience, so that these communities will be better able to withstand shocks such as floods and conflict, and require less emergency assistance. Approximately 8.3 million people in South Sudan need humanitarian assistance in 2021, according to estimates from the UN Humanitarian Needs Overview South Sudan, up from 7.5 million people in 2020.
Only 11 percent of South Sudan’s population has access to basic sanitation, and 41 percent has access to clean drinking water, according to the 2019 UNICEF/World Health Organization Joint Monitoring Program Report.
The lack of adequate, sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services, which is compounded by inadequate health care in many areas, has left communities—particularly women and children—at a heightened risk of water-related diseases. In addition, women and children have faced risks of sexual violence when they engage in survival activities such as fetching water.
The Gender-Aware, Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activity will strengthen coordination in the sectors of water, sanitation, hygiene, and management in the 13 focus counties by fostering leadership—including through training and the empowerment of women, providing technical assistance, and engaging the private sector and social enterprises. This activity will also expand water, sanitation, and hygiene services in the target counties, with water infrastructure investments in schools and health facilities, incorporating input from women, men, youth, children, and vulnerable groups. Finally, the activity will increase the adoption of key sanitation and hygiene practices that will improve public health by reducing infections.
“Development investments that will improve access to clean water and sanitation services in some of South Sudan’s most underdeveloped communities are essential to build resilience and improve public health,” said USAID/South Sudan Mission Director Haven Cruz-Hubbard.
This new activity builds on successes of USAID’s 2017-2021 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Response and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence activity implemented by the International Organization for Migration, which built or rehabilitated more than 500 water sources in South Sudan and reached more than 400,000 individuals with improved access to safe drinking water, increased availability of sanitation facilities, hygiene trainings, and the establishment of gender-based violence prevention and response services. That activity concluded on September 30, 2021.
DT Global is an international development contractor with experience in South Sudan (under its previous name of AECOM) implementing USAID conflict mitigation activities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in South Sudan.