Annual Update 2020 VNG International

‘We used to spend recklessly and just push on with life without planning. We are much more careful now. We have hope.’

Ms. Susan Akuach Majok,

Chairperson of the Village Savings

and Loans Association

‘For myself, I feel empowered, strong and responsible enough to cater for my children. The Village Savings and Loans Association has improved my life because now I have a hope for something.’

Ms. Martha Anger Abendego Thuc, Group member of the Village Savings and Loans Association

Source of quotes and photos, and more information:

Brochure: Water for Lakes: hope for struggling communities in South Sudan


improving Access to Basic Services

by strengthening democratic local government

Featured Project

South Sudan, Programme for the Water Sector between South Sudan and The Netherlands – Water for Lakes State (Prowas/SSN-Lakes)



A key goal of the ‘Water for Lakes’ programme (WfL) is to stimulate economic development and improve livelihoods by unlocking the potential of integrated development and management of land and water resources for agriculture and livestock. Its other main objective is to improve health by providing access to safe water, sanitation and better nutrition. The programme has three main components:

1) Water for economic development

2) Safe water and improved sanitation

3) Integrated water resources management


VNG International, together with the lead partner Mott MacDonald, has implemented WfL, a multi-year initiative funded by the Government of the Netherlands in the three states of South Sudan’s Greater Lakes region – Gok, Eastern Lakes and Western Lakes. Against the backdrop of poor security and challenging logistics, the team has been highly effective. The programme not only provided hardware – water yards and boreholes with hand pumps – but also empowered communities to take responsibility for sustainable water provision. We did this through technical training and by helping communities to develop income-generating activities.


Together with local organisations we established Water User Committees (WUCs) and provided members with appropriate training. The revenue gained from local water users is invested back into maintaining the facilities as well as into the community through a Village Association. These offer low interest loans, stimulating the economy surrounding water facilities. Communities are also trained in personal hygiene and safe water handling, helping to reduce disease and illness.


Within the WfL programme, VNG International focused its intervention on the Safe (drinking) Water and Improved Sanitation (SWIS) component.


Results include:

  • dramatically increased sustainability of the water points, as water points with income generating activities associated had:
  • 10% increase in water point functionality
  • 35% increase in good performance of WUCs
  • 57% increase in repair fund balance


  • In total, 742 (356 new and 386 rehabilitated) water points with hand pumps were constructed (against the target of 750) and 20 (18 new and 2 rehabilitated) water yards were constructed, against the target of 12.
  • On average, the water points with handpumps serve 35 households (based on monitoring data) with an average household size of 7.3 members (based on SSHS 2006). This means that the water points provide year-round access to water to a total of 189,600 people.
  • The 20 water yards serve approximately 1000 persons each, totalling 20,000 people. Therefore, a total of 209,600 people have gained year-round access to water (almost the target).
  • Thereby the % of households with year-round access to water in the WFL targeted counties has risen from 10 % to 30 % (as aimed for).


  • The project has been conducting monitoring of trained WUCs since 2017. The results found that of the 705 WUC that were trained and monitored, 89% (627) were active during the last visit. The ‘active’ status is determined by the WUC conducting management meetings, collecting user fees and undertaking repair maintenance.