Water and Sex: South Sudan’s Young girls and Women raped during search for water

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JUBA, South Sudan

Reports from South Sudan indicate that majority of young girls and woman have become prone to sex predators who prey on them while on their way to fetch water in distant areas.

Authorities said that usually, the sex predators “hide in nearby bushes or wait in the late evening” to hunt down innocent victims who walk long hours to fetch clean water

The major areas being affected is the drought hit state of Boma and Gumuruk where woman travel 7-9 hours a day to fetch water usually without the protection of male counterpart.

According to State records, majority of nearby clean water sources like taps and boreholes were destroyed during the civil war and the government has had financial challenges in providing clean water to all its citizens especially in war torn states.

One victim who preferred to remain anonymous recalled her ill fated day as “gruesome, cruel, and unforgettable” she noted that while on her way carrying a twenty-liter jerrycan along with three other friends, a group of speared boys attacked them from the back. They tried to defend themselves but were threatened to be killed if they screamed or hesitated.

Sadly adding: “They took turns at us as if we were playing toys” and later returned home feeling shameless and torn part in the name of water.

But authorities said that they are putting in place measures to reduce on the rise in sexual assaults towards these women and promised to enforce tougher punishments for sex predators.

Since the beginning of civil war in South Sudan, rape has widely been employed as another weapon of war with humanitarian originations warning of higher increase in sexual assaults.