SOUTH SUDAN: Beijing finances 47 pumping stations for drinking water supply

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SOUTH SUDAN: Beijing finances 47 pumping stations for drinking water supply© AdrianaMahdalova/shutterstock

The South Sudanese government has announced the construction of 47 groundwater pumping stations in four states of the country. The project, which aims to increase the population's drinking water coverage, will be implemented thanks to financial support from China.

Over the next three years, Terekeka, Yei River, Eastern Lakes and Jubek states in South Sudan will be equipped with new groundwater pumping stations. The project was announced on 3 March 2023 by the South Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Pal Mai Deng, following the signing of the funding agreement with the Chinese government in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The Chinese grant, the value of which was not specified, will be used to build 47 boreholes. Of these, 32 will be boreholes equipped with electric pumps and the remaining 15 with human-powered pumps.

Clean water for thousands of Southern Sudanese

According to Hua Ning, China’s ambassador to Southern Sudan, the project will improve drinking water coverage for “tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese”. In South Sudan, only 55% of the population has access to this resource, according to Oxfan International, a confederation of some 20 independent charities around the world.

Tapping into the groundwater in this East African country will also make people more resilient to drought. The climate phenomenon dries up surface water, which is necessary for life and for economic activities such as agriculture, livestock, etc.

Read also – AFRICA: Water and sanitation security today, a necessity!

To meet the water demand of Southern Sudanese, the government is also banking on the Wau Dam. The dam will be built on the Siwi River, one of the main branches of the Jur River in the Bahr al-Ghazal basin, and will have a storage capacity of 2 billion m3. The infrastructure will provide irrigation water to 500,000 farmers in South Sudan. Between 12,600 and 16,800 hectares of land are expected to be irrigated, improving resilience to drought.

Inès Magoum


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