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Cablegate: Southern Sudan - Usaid Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

VZCZCXRO2110
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0564/01 1011449
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111449Z APR 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6791
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000564

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: SOUTHERN SUDAN - USAID WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE
SECTOR ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATIONS


KHARTOUM 00000564 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

1. (U) To facilitate the development of a USAID water, sanitation,
and hygiene (WASH) strategy for FY 2007, USAID/Sudan and USAID
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) staff
recently assessed USAID-funded WASH interventions in Southern Sudan.
The assessment team reported that USAID WASH programs have
increased access to water points; however, some emergency drinking
water interventions have proven difficult to maintain. Without a
standardized Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) water policy in
place, many investments in the water sector will not be sustainable.
End summary.

----------
Background
----------

2. (U) From February 2 to 18, a USAID/OFDA technical advisor and a
USAID/OFDA Southern Sudan program manager traveled to Northern Bahr
el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Lakes states to
evaluate the effectiveness of USAID WASH programs in providing
essential WASH services and mitigating local conflict over water
resources. The team met with USAID partners and state and local
officials in rural towns and potential returnee locations. Since FY
2002 USAID/OFDA has provided more than USD 41 million for WASH
programs in Southern Sudan. The USAID team traveled with technical
experts from PACT, Inc., USAID/OFDA's largest WASH implementing
partner in Southern Sudan. Expectations for lasting peace and
development are high in Southern Sudan and significant numbers of
internally displaced persons (IDPs) from within Sudan, predominately
from the Khartoum area, and refugees from neighboring countries have
begun returning to the region.

--------------------------------
WASH Sector Confronts Challenges
--------------------------------

3. (U) To date, limited international donor development assistance
has focused on the water sector. International and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) have approached WASH programming from a relief
perspective and with limited coordination. In FY 2005, USAID/OFDA
shifted from directly funding multiple NGO water partners to
supporting a limited number of organizations to implement multiple
projects under a more coordinated management structure. This has
yielded positive results at the local level increasing the number of
new and rehabilitated water points. However, the limited capacity
of newly formed Southern Sudanese government structures, the absence
of a GOSS water policy to govern payment fees and the management of
water points, and the undefined roles of the private and public
sectors in water service delivery are significant challenges to
improving and sustaining safe water services.

4. (U) Some emergency drinking water interventions in Southern
Sudan, including hand pumps and motorized and solar pump systems,
have proven difficult to maintain. Village water committees,
cost-recovery mechanisms, and localized spare parts warehousing
systems have had varying success, and overall uncertainty regarding
management and ownership responsibilities has undermined water
service quality and maintenance in some areas. To facilitate
Southern Sudan's transition from emergency assistance to long-term
development, a reduced dependence on outside donor funding and an
increased role for regional, state, and county governments, as well
as the private sector is needed. A strong GOSS water policy to
assist management capacity at all government levels, including GOSS,
state, and county levels would enhance efforts to increase the
sustainability of water sector interventions. USAID understands
that the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) is
supporting this process by funding the U.N. Children's Fund
(UNICEF), Save the Children/UK, and the Overseas Development
Institute to work with the GOSS Ministry of Water Resources and
Irrigation and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development to
draft a GOSS Regional Water Policy.

5. (U) The major USAID/OFDA water partners, including PACT, have
focused primarily on drilling and water point management to meet
emergency safe water needs. Hygiene and sanitation programs that
include water storage practices and behavioral aspects, such as hand
washing and safe latrine usage, are increasing and should continue
to be encouraged. As returnees settle and community populations
increase, hygiene promotion and sanitation interventions at the

KHARTOUM 00000564 002.2 OF 002


household level will be critical for better health.

6. (U) USAID/OFDA's water conflict-mitigation strategy, which
includes rain catchment systems to reduce tensions surrounding water
access among pastoralists, has yielded mixed results. Rain
catchment projects for livestock water points have worked well in
northern Sudan. However, the practice of employing local labor has
had less success in many parts of the south primarily due to soil
structure, which is less suitable for manual labor. USAID/OFDA
believes a mechanized approach may be more appropriate for project
sites in southern regions.

------------------------
Comment: Recommendations
------------------------

7. (U) USAID should use its influence with other donors, U.N.
agencies, and international NGOs already engaged in supporting the
development of a GOSS water policy to ensure that the policy defines
roles and responsibilities of the different GOSS ministries and
offices at regional, state, and county levels. A sound GOSS
regional water policy would facilitate the integration of existing
infrastructure and the coordination of current and future projects.


8. (U) USAID/OFDA should continue to invest in safe water
activities with immediate impact in areas of high returns. Emphasis
on low cost, sustainable water provision, including hand-dug wells
where possible, and the protection of natural water sources should
be encouraged. This is particularly important in light of the
expected increase in the number of returnees over the next two
years. The USAID team visited a number of locally constructed,
rural, hand-dug wells that represented a practical and sustainable
approach to increase safe water access that could serve as models
for future projects.

9. (U) USAID WASH investments in the installation of new boreholes
equipped with hand pumps or motorized and solar pump systems should
be pursued to enhance safe water access when drawing from deep
aquifers or serving large populations.

10. (U) As returns increase, hygiene promotion activities and low
cost sanitation infrastructure programs should play a prominent role
in USAID WASH programming and should include interventions at the
household level.

11. (U) In collaboration with all levels of government, USAID
should continue to support rainwater catchment projects that provide
water for cattle in seasonally dry zones to reduce conflict among
pastoralists.

12. (U) USAID/OFDA will continue to work with USAID/Sudan to
explore possibilities for further coordination and transition in the
WASH sector.

HUME

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