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South Sudan: Expanding Gender-transformative Sustainable Access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

USAID Afia Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)


Despite significant donor investment in the South Sudanese WASH sector, only 41% of South Sudanese have access to basic drinking water and 11% to basic sanitation, and 63% of the population still practices open defecation. In USAID’s 13 target South Sudan counties, the conditions are even more dire, with greater than 80% of households lacking latrines and less than 35% of the population having access to clean water. The unsafe or inadequate access to sustainable WASH services negatively affects public health and related development indicators.


The purpose of the Afia WASH Activity is to expand gender-transformative sustainable access to basic safe drinking water and basic sanitation coverage and increase uptake of key hygiene behaviors to improve health and household resilience in accordance with USAID/South Sudan’s Strategic Framework. The specific objectives of this activity are to:

1) Strengthen sub-national and private WASH sector coordination and management.

2) Inclusive, resilient WASH service delivery strengthened.

3) Adoption of key WASH behaviors increased and harmful gender norms relevant to WASH addressed.

The Activity will work with sub-national government, communities, and private sector partners to ensure thoughtful sequencing and layering of activities, a robust network of partners, and strong stakeholder engagement. Interventions include baseline assessments and thorough research to develop tailored, sustainable approaches for capacity building and infrastructure interventions.

Goals and Results

By the end of the five-year implementation period, the Afia WASH Activity will:

  • Improve community access to clean water supply and sanitation through small-scale infrastructure such as community handpumps, solar powered water distribution systems, and inclusive ventilated improved pit latrines.
  • Support capacity of WASH management structures and ensure increased participation of women in management and leadership roles in WASH service provision.
  • Increase the functionality rate of water supply facilities through capacity building of operations and maintenance operators to design and implement climate sensitive measures for emergency management during times of flooding or drought.
  • Engage the private sector and social enterprises to support water system management and Social Behavior change interventions.
  • Develop and implement an at-scale, comprehensive social behavior change strategy to increase adoption of key sanitation and hygiene practices (e.g., building and use of latrines, Menstrual Health Management, Handwashing).

Photo Credit: Kirill Chupakhin

2021 - 2026
Implemented by
DT Global US
South Sudan
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