Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Drop in the Bucket

Drop in the Bucket (Drop) is a Los Angeles based, 501(c)(3) water and sanitation charity with field offices in Uganda and South Sudan.

Since 2006, Drop has worked with hundreds of villages in East Africa to drill wells, construct sanitation facilities and introduce social programs such as Village Savings and Loan Associations, Girl’s Clubs, Health Clubs, Community Hygiene Promoters, and Community Sanitation Initiatives.

Because education is one of the most effective ways of moving a country out of poverty, we work to provide schools and communities with tools they need to improve child heath, increase school enrollment rates and promote gender equality.

The best way of addressing these issues has always been to go directly to the people and work alongside them to find suitable solutions.   Utilizing our “boots on the ground” approach, we employ teams of local field officers and hygiene trainers to engage the communities and help address the complex issues associated with the developing world’s water and sanitation crisis, in which 783 million people lack access to safe water, and where one in every three people lack access to an adequate toilet.

Drop In The Bucket believes we can help create a world in which children are safe, healthy, educated and free from fear. And we believe that the key to achieving those ends is clean water and sanitation.

Aweil North is located in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, in northwestern South Sudan. It is close to the border with the Republic of Sudan and just below Darfur. According to some statistics it is also the poorest and most underdeveloped region of South Sudan, which in turn is also widely recognized as one of the most underdeveloped countries on the planet.

Since South Sudan gained its independence back in July 2011, the UN estimates that around 328,000 people have returned back there from their former homes in the Republic of Sudan. In the majority of cases this repatriation was not voluntary. It is estimated that the final destination for 100,000 of them was Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and its two neighboring states. This huge and sudden influx of people is creating a major strain on the areas already limited resources. With little food and access to safe water, experts are saying the area could be on the verge of a massive humanitarian crisis.

Drop in the Bucket arrived in Aweil late last year and has pledged to build as many wells as we can there over the next 12 months. Our intention is to drill 20 wells at schools in Aweil North and Aweil East this year. The first two of these wells have been drilled and we are currently on the third.

This area often suffers from major water shortages, but this year has been particularly bad with many parts of Africa suffering the effects of what is being called the worst drought in over 70 years. 

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