Walking hot, dusty miles to satisfy thirst
South Sudan’s desert environment is starkly beautiful but ever-challenging for its people. During the annual six-month dry season, daily temperatures often rise above 120°F.
Every day in such conditions, millions of South Sudanese, usually women and children, have to trek miles to collect water from ponds, marshes, ditches, or hand-dug wells. Such treks are often repeated two or more times during the day. Water cans and jugs can weigh as much as 40 pounds or more.
This water is usually contaminated with parasites and disease-causing bacteria. Yet there is no choice. Water, however tainted, is needed to live.
In addition, such time-intensive, demanding labor makes education, particularly for women and girls, difficult if not impossible.