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Last updateDim, 25 Jan 2015 7pm

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Water: Thousands of IDPs in South Sudan lack clean water

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Friday hundreds of thousands of displaced people in South Sudan still lack water, food and medical care.

'Hundreds of thousands of people are not getting enough clean drinking water,' a statement received by PANA in Khartoum, Sudan, Friday quoted Marc Suchet, who is in charge of the ICRC's water and habitat activities in South Sudan, as saying.

'Security constraints and other limitations on access, not to mention the already weak water systems, make it difficult for people to obtain clean water. This is a challenge both for displaced people and for the residents hosting them,' he added.

Suchet said since fighting began in mid-December, the ICRC, in cooperation with the South Sudan Red Cross, had been delivering potable water by truck and setting up emergency water points in hospitals and prisons as well as in camps for displaced people.

'Our activities have helped ensure that displaced people in Juba, Bentiu/Rubkona, Leer, Malakal, Wunrock (Warrap state) and North Jonglei have clean water,' said Suchet. 'So far, we have trucked over a million litres of clean water and built water points in six different South Sudanese states.'

He said the ICRC's efforts aimed to minimise the exposure of people displaced by violence to water-borne diseases.

'Untreated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, hepatitis, cholera and typhoid fever – all of which spread through water contaminated by human faeces,' said Suchet. 'It is vitally important, therefore, that water engineers and other humanitarian workers be able to carry out their activities.'

Pana 01/02/2014