What comes to mind when you think of water? A sandy beach, with waves pushing ever so gently into the shore? Maybe a glass of chilled water with a slight taste of lemon? But did you think of aching muscles, broiling sand, sweltering heat, and hours upon hours of walking per day? That's because you don't live in the sad realities of villages in South Sudan, where women and children slave during the day to get barely enough water to survive. This is caused by two extreme seasons, a dry season and a wet season. During South Sudan’s wet season, there is enough water, but it’s still a long walk to get to water. But during South Sudan’s dry season, most of the bodies of water dry up, leaving the people of South Sudan with no water source. In addition, temperatures can reach up to 120ºF. As a result, the people of South Sudan are forced to move nearer to a larger body of water, in hopes that there will be just enough water to survive until the wet season comes around. The water they find, though, isn't crystal clean, like a diamond, but yellow and muddy, disease ridden and full of parasites. This water, not only gives life, but also takes it away. One common parasite in this type of water is the Guinea worm. The Guinea worm crawls through the human body, eating everything in its path, only to come out a year later, causing excruciating pain to the victim and damaging the body. An additional problem is that most South Sudanese have bad hygiene because they are too poor, averagely getting a salary of less than $1 a day, to buy products that would help them improve their hygiene. A reliable source of clean water can change all that. When one has a reliable source of water, markets and schools can be permanently established. A market gives the weak economy a boost, and the school allows kids to have a chance to get a job and succeed in life. All this can happen because of one well.
In 1930, the British who ruled Sudan issued a decree, which divided Sudan into Southern and Northern regions, because of the differences in religion and language between the inhabitants. Sixteen years later (1946), Sudan was again united into one country yet in 1955 a major civil war started between south and north. Sudan was granted its independence soon after (1956) but that didn’t stop the division between south and north. As a result a second civil war began (1983), which would last 22 years, until the Naivasha Agreement was signed in 2005. There were several causes for this civil war. The main cause was the violation of the Addis Ababa agreement signed in 1972. This agreement established the South Sudan Autonomous Region. When oil was discovered on the border between Sudan and the Autonomous State of South Sudan (1978), the central ruling government of Sudan moved the borders south therefore attempting to take over the oil. This plan would have caused a huge drop in South Sudanese economy as 70% of their exports was oil. The civil war displaced 4 million people, and killed 2 million people. Most of the people who died weren’t soldiers though, but civilians who has lost their homes, and thus lost their reliable sources of food and water. Those people often died of dehydration or starvation. Among the people displaced was Salva Dut.