While it’s easy to understand the importance of water, developing solutions that ensure sustainable and safe access to it is not. With trusted partner P&G, we are working to bring reliable clean water to mothers like Arketa in South Sudan.  

Arketa knows what it is like to fear for her children’s health because the journey to the nearest water source is fraught with danger, or because the very water they travel to collect is contaminated, causing illness after illness. But today Arketa feels peace knowing that her children have protection from water-borne diseases thanks to CMMB South Sudan, the State Ministry of Housing, Lands and Utilities, and P&G.  

On this World Water Day, it’s our privilege to share Arketa’s story of community transformation.  

In Bakindo, South Sudan… 

For too long, the people of Bakindo, South Sudan drank water from a seasonal water source. It was located not far from the community. But the water was unclean and possessed several health and safety hazards.  

Come the dry season, the water turns vibrant green—not unlike the color of the greenery in the surrounding area. During the rainy season, the water overflows, damaging people’s crops in their gardens. Surrounded by long, thick grasses and tress, the water source is a breeding place for mosquitos and reptiles, threatening the safety of those living nearby and the children who are often responsible for fetching water.  

Without clean drinking water, the people of Bakindo suffered water-borne diseases—diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and more—necessitating extended periods of time at the hospital.   

“Our children used to fall sick more often,” said Arketa Angelo, a 23-year-old mother. “But we had no other option. One time my child fell sick and was diagnosed with typhoid.”  

A community, transformed  

Last year, thanks to CMMB South Sudan and the State Ministry of Housing, Lands and Utilities, this all started to change. Together, they conducted an assessment in Yambio County to better understand community needs and the reality of water access across the county, including in Bakindo.

Understanding that access to sustainable and safe water was among the greatest barriers to health for the people of Bakindo, CMMB, with support from P&G, drilled a borehole, reducing the risk of waterborne illness.  

Children surround a borehole CMMB South Sudan 2023

“We faced a lot of problems related to health, especially our children,” Arketa expressed. “But now, since the time the borehole was drilled, common diseases like typhoid and diarrhea have greatly reduced. As mothers, we have time to do our daily home activities and freely send our children to fetch water without fear.”

Access to sustainable and clean drinking water is key in our mission to deliver healthier lives worldwide. We join Arketa in sharing gratitude with the State Ministry of Housing, Lands, and Utilities and P&G for their partnership with CMMB South Sudan. Together, we share the lifesaving gift of water.  

Photography: Alissa Everett/Getty Images for CMMB