Broken down handpumps get new life

2008 (UNMIS)

People living in the semi-desert town of Kadugli and its surrounding villages in Southern Sudan no longer have to depend on rainwater or walk miles to fetch a pail of clean water.

Dismayed by the number of broken down handpumps in the area, UNMIS' Indian contingent teamed up with the international non-governmental organization CARE to repair 10 of them.

"It was nothing less than appalling that, while a water pump lay non-functional a short distance away, the people of a village were forced to drink water from the same dirty rainwater pond that sustained their animals," said Indian Commanding Officer Col. Sandeep Sehgal.

The contingent surveyed hand pumps within 100 square kilometres, identifying 30 that needed repairs. "It is no wonder that diseases like malaria and typhoid are still as prevalent and life-threatening as they were several decades ago," Col. Sehgal said.

Following the survey, CARE agreed to provide the material and an engineer to help repair the pumps. In coordination with the UN Joint Logistics Centre, repair material was collected and the job began.

According to Lt. Col Jasdeep Singh Nagpal, locals initially looked on with disbelief as CARE and the Indian contingent toiled in the sun lifting pipes out of the ground. Later they became interested and eventually joined in to remove the rusted pipes.


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