One woman’s mission to improve the health of her community

Nyanut used to leave home with her donkeys at 6am every day to fetch water. “I went every day and I travelled for over seven hours on foot and my donkeys carried the water on our way back. You would go thirsty, and your children would feel sick if you didn’t travel to the borehole every day. It was a very hard life.”

Last September, Action Against hunger drilled the first-ever borehole well in her village in South Sudan. Within a few months, the village, and the lives of people within it had been transformed. Now Nyanut and her friends, family, and neighbours have clean drinking water – on tap – without having to walk for seven hours to get it. They have latrines too, so they no longer defecate in a bush, which is not only unsanitary but also extremely dangerous due to the presence of wild animals.

borehole - Action Against hunger

We set up a Water Committee in the community, made up of five men and five women, who are responsible for ensuring that the borehole is maintained. Nyanut was elected as committee chair, managing the finances of the borehole as well as teaching people to build latrines, look after the borehole and maintain safe hygiene at home.

But Nyanut is not just making sure that the community has safe water, she is also changing attitudes in the community. It is usually men who are given positions of responsibility in the community, so Nyanut challenged convention by standing as the Water Committee Chair and being elected into the role. She’s changing the face of the community; many girls in the village say they want to follow in Nyanut’s footsteps.


Looking for a gift that has the power to change lives? Check out our water and hygiene gifts, that bring clean water to communities and protect families against infectious and waterborne diseases.