Improving Coordination through Mapping: Using GIS to map community boreholes in South Sudan

from Oxfam
Published on 12 Sep 2017 View Original

In South Sudan, Oxfam has introduced the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map water and sanitation facilities across conflict-hit Wau. This has enabled Oxfam and partners to better monitor and coordinate activities – and has the potential to maximize opportunities to develop sustainable water sources.


Wau town in northwest South Sudan is home to approximately 150,000 people. Ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces has caused widespread insecurity across Wau and the surrounding rural areas. As of April 2017, Wau was home to around 55,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in various camps spread across the town. The largest single camp hosts approximately 43,000 individuals, with the population continuing to rise.

Oxfam provides and manages water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for approximately 50,000 people across the various IDP sites in Wau. A number of other agencies also operate locally and regionally to provide support to both the IDPs and host communities. Oxfam provides a WASH Cluster State Focal Point for Wau to coordinate WASH activities in the area.

A key need exists to understand which stakeholders are doing what, where, to help track completed activities and coordinate ongoing and future activities. In what can be a deeply unstable environment, no formal mapping of aid agency activities had previously been carried out in the area.