NPR: In Uganda's Refugee Settlements, A Desperate Search for Water
"Water was the biggest thing," says journalist Tim McDonnell of the scene at the refugee settlement of Palorinya in northern Uganda. Since December, 146,000 South Sudanese have crossed the border, fleeing the violence of the civil war. And without enough water to drink, they would quite literally die.
He'd see them line up each day with their jerrycans to get the 15 liters of water for daily use. That's a little less than 4 gallons — the minimum for daily needs according to the World Health Organization. And it has to cover drinking, cooking, washing up and other sanitation needs. By contrast, an average family in the U.S. goes through 300 gallons a day.
McDonnell had come to Africa on a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship. His goal was to cover climate change and its impact on food. At Palorinya, he saw that the simple need for water was a topic to explore as well. He made a short documentary about the challenge of getting water to hundreds of thousands of people. The film is premiering on Goats and Soda.