Yei County, CES State (South Sudan) September 2019 - Margaret (Not her real name) is a mother of four children and expecting her fifth child anytime soon. She has currently returned to her now ‘empty’ and destroyed home in Mugwo County after having fled in the 2016 political conflict between government and opposition forced that displaced thousands of the population to the neighboring counties and countries. Her eyes are filled with sadness when she narrates her ordeal and yet beams with smile at the look of the many items currently under her possession. “I can’t believe that all this belongs to me. I never envisioned myself living a life of a human being again, now I believe God answers prayers!” She shares her joy.
For a long time, Margaret has lived an unhappy life since she returned back to her village with no basic necessities, no source of livelihood and lack of a functional market. As an expectant mother, she narrates her ordeal; “I did not own a bucket to fetch or collect water or even soap to wash our clothes and was very worried how I would manage after delivery”. She also said that at times her family would borrow water collecting cans from the neighbors, who would sometimes refuse making them spend days without water in the house, resorting to direct use of water from an open source, including washing and bathing which was unsafe, risky and unhealthy.
In order to improve the sanitation and hygiene of conflict affected population, in August 2019 LCED through South Sudan Humanitarian Fund distributed WASH NFIs that included dignity kits, buckets, soap, and water treatment tabs among others, to restore the dignity and save lives of 216 vulnerable households (1010 individuals) in Mugwo Payam, Yei County (Central Equatoria State of South Sudan). The response of the population to the item distribution was quite positive, as many testimonies such as Margaret’s proved. “I can once again live a life of a human being!” she concludes.