Clean water helps protect people from COVID-19 in South Sudan

During times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the provision of clean and safe water is critical to help communities fight the pandemic. As the situation across the globe develops, World Vision Canada staff work to continually evolve our programming to meet the needs of our communities. For World Vision staff like Ismail Nyikay and his team, the acceptance of new hygiene practices and knowledge that their communities have sufficient clean water is critical. 

“I am relieved that when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted South Sudan, the people in Kodok town had sufficient water for handwashing”, says Nyikay, who is World Vision’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) officer. In addition to providing Kodok clean water, Nyikay and his team have constructed latrines for 70 households to minimize crowding near public toilets.

A male staff member talks to a community member of Kodok in South Sudan.
World Vision staff member, Ismail Soma Niykay sits with a community member after delivering handwashing facilities directly to their home. Photo: World Vision.

Nyikay works with programs like The Restoring Lives of Affected Communities (R-LIFE) Project, where he and his team focus on providing lifesaving interventions to communities. Since the beginning of COVID-19 the project has also distributed buckets and soap, papered COVID-19 posters and banners in public areas and promoted integrated hygiene awareness, including social distancing, hand washing, and the wearing of masks.

A male staff member in South Sudan puts up paper posters in the community.
World Vision WASH staff member distributes COVID-19 awareness posters throughout the community Photo: World Vision.

After weeks of this work, the efforts began to bear fruit as practices like shaking hands with a neighbour gradually stopped. Community members realized they need to help themselves, especially considering their proximity to Sudan’s border, where entry points have limited control measures, if any.

“Changing people’s cultural beliefs like shaking hands is a big challenge. But the communities have begun to understand the importance of these measures and started to practice them. The team’s commitment is to keep the community, especially the children, safe,” added Nyikay.

Everyday, hidden heroes like Nyikay and his team are stepping up to help the world's most vulnerable, with support from donors like you. But the work is not done. Thank you for your continued commitment to your monthly water pledge making it possible for our hidden heroes to not shy away from any challenge that comes their way.

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