…Rumours of Lucy, Gbenga, and I leaving Jonglei State, and of Lucy and I being seen downing a few gin and tonics in Juba while toasting the women carriers of Haat are true, but not of us leaving South Sudan. We fly into Juba on a Wednesday, and are back in the field on Thursday and Friday in the Khor William and Lologo neighbourhoods where we carried out our one day wellfield reconnaissance survey in what seemed a lifetime ago.
These neighbourhoods of Lologo and Khor William were chosen for our urban water exploration program by ICRC public health monitors. They determined there is a high need based on tracking of outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, typhus, and cholera. The crowded hand pumps and continual parade of Nile River-bound bicycles, wheelbarrows, and foot traffic all carrying jerry cans and buckets is clear testimony to the inadequate water supply.
Besides the urban setting, the hilly topography, the hydrogeology and geology are completely different and half a billion years older than in the Upper Nile Basin sediments where we have been working in the north, in Jonglei. Juba is a continuation of the African crystalline basement aquifers that I am so familiar with from Acholiland in Northern Uganda.
In fact, our Juba data sets look very similar to those of our 2018 Geoscientists Without Borders program in Uganda, and are easily interpreted. We confidently site a number of new wells and improved locations for existing wells. We also site a potentially high yield production well in thick, weathered crystalline rock that is in close proximity and we interpret/assume/hope is hydraulically connected to the Nile River.