Last week I was with some of our partners, who were shocked to hear we had repaired 21 wells in the last couple of weeks. At first I was surprised at their reactions, but then reality hit home. The news coming out of South Sudan has not been good. Just in case you have not been following here are some options for quick updates: Bishop Taban cancels US trip over insecurity, Food Crises Intensifies, South Sudan Refugees hit 1,000,000 mark, Uganda Best Place To Be A Refugee?,
The idea of severe food shortages, medicine scarcity, and roving bands of un-tethered soldiers sounds pretty much like a situation anyone would be wise to avoid. That is simple wisdom. The recent fighting has pushed more than 1,000,000 out of South Sudan, and countless more are roaming within the country (IDPs), looking for a place to land that is safe and where water and food can be found. Much has been written about Uganda's admirable service to those South Sudanese that have crossed their border.
But what about all those still there? Here are just a few of the many thousands who are still here making a life.
The truth is that even in the worst of situations people still need water, food, and medicine, and that is exactly why we have focused all of our attention over the last decade on building an indigenous, sustainable local water organization. The Water is Basic team is going nowhere. They are South Sudanese and they can repair wells in hours. We have been able to import food and medicine and well supplies. Our military escorts and staff drivers have risked much as our first truck was attacked for over an hour. Our second convoy made it through without any violence but the already terrible roads are rapidly getting worse and taking a heavy toll on our trucks.
No matter the situation, in plenty or in scarcity, in peace or in turmoil, in Yakima Wa or Yei South Sudan, we long for the same things and spend our days seeking them out. People everywhere want a good nights rest, food to give their children, water that is clean and free of devastating diseases, education and a future full of opportunity and hope.
While we are working intentionally with local government and religious leaders to foster peace, to provide some simple food and medicine, we have not forgotten the foundations that we were birthed on more than ten years ago. Water is basic. From clean, healthy water wells flow agriculture, education, reconciliation, life itself. That is why we wired funds for another 20 well repairs yesterday.
We are still going strong. Are you with us? Please make an investment in hope today. It will lead to life tomorrow.