South Sudan is part of our Peacebuilding programme.
Norwegian Church Aid’s work in South Sudan dates back to 1972. Since then, we have engaged in long-term development, emergency response and advocacy to improve the situation of vulnerable people. During the past four years, we have provided emergency assistance to 155,000 people, mainly internally displaced persons and host communities who are affected by the current conflict.
Norwegian Church Aid continues to support the people of South Sudan in peacebuilding, improving reproductive health and increasing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Over the past four years, we have provided clean water for 134,527 people and sanitation and hygiene facilities for 52,678 people in Warrap and East Equatorial State. Moreover, we have trained 377,377 village water committee members to operate, repair and maintain the wells built.
Recent surveys show that more than 30% of the people in South Sudan do not have access to a safe water supply. The limited access to water and sanitation has contributed to poor child health – a third of children under the age of five suffer from diarrhea. Because of the limited number of water points, water has also been a source of internal conflict between communities.
We are working in South Sudan to provide desperately needed clean water, latrines, and hand washing stations to help prevent the spread of disease. Our work includes the rehabilitation of hand pumps, drilling of new wells and construction of rain water harvesting systems in schools and health institutions. We also train village water committees, village health committees, school hygiene clubs, and parent-teacher associations, as well as hand pump mechanics to promote hygiene and sanitation and to ensure that the wells keep functioning.
In Warrap, East and Central Equatorial states, Norwegian Church Aid has supported the establishment of 18 local peace and reconciliation committees called Boma Councils that are helping to reduce conflict among the communities by initiating dialogue with different clan groups.
Years of conflict has left the South Sudanese society highly militarized, with a significant number of small arms and frequent ethnic conflict. Our peacebuilding efforts in South Sudan address community violence and small arms control.
We believe that religious and cultural values are important for peacebuilding. Our previous experience in the country has taught us that women and faith-based organisations play a significant role in promoting peace and reconciliation. We train women, churches, and community-based structures to enhance their peacebuilding skills, facilitate dialogue between rival communities in collaboration with faith-based organisations for peaceful co-existence, and support community-led peacebuilding activities to help them detect potential conflict and reconcile differences.
Following the 2013 conflict in South Sudan, Norwegian Church Aid has been active in facilitating interfaith-led reconciliation at local and national levels.
In South Sudan, one out of every 28 women dies as a result of maternal causes and 90% of deliveries occur at home. The high rate of early marriage is also a contributing factor for the high birth rate among young girls.
Our goal is to make every pregnancy voluntary, and every birth a safe one. To do so, we train midwives, build the capacity of health personnel, and educate women and men to have knowledge on maternal and child health. We collaborate with home health promoters and village health committees to mobilise community members, along with local churches to address early marriage. Community conversation has been an important tool in our programme for stimulating discussion on health related issues.
Through our emergency preparedness and response program in South Sudan, we have responded with emergency provision of water, sanitation and hygiene, health, non-food items, livelihoods and emergency education. We will continue to provide appropriate, relevant, timely and adequate relief to the vulnerable victims of conflict and climate change in South Sudan.
Norwegian Church Aid has a strong profile in the Republic of South Sudan in working with faith-based actors that have a long history of service delivery to local communities. We coordinate our efforts with Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance) members and United Nations coordination forums to maximize impact. Over the years we have experienced that our local partners, with their grassroots network and reach, are effective in delivering services on the ground.