New country in need of help

Justin Yost, Staff Writer

Buey Tut took to the front of Gardner Auditorium yesterday (March 1) in front of a packed house, to talk about the world’s newest country, South Sudan.

Tut, a University of Nebraska-Omaha alumnus, is the executive director at Aqua-Africa. He has worked there for almost five years. Aqua-Africa is a non-profit organization that Tut founded to help bring clean water to the people of Africa. In 2011, when South Sudan became a country, Aqua-Africa helped bring clean water to 1,500 people. The number of people they have helped has grown every year. As of 2014 they have helped over 26,000 people.

Tut opened his presentation with a video about the first water tank they put up in South Sudan. Aqua-Africa partnered with an Omaha engineering firm, Lamp Rynearson and associates. The conjoined efforts helped build a well, along with a water tower. Since there is no electricity the pump for the water tower is ran on solar power.

With a population of over 10 million, many more water towers need to be built to help South Sudan. The president of Lamp Rynearson has said he wants to keep helping Aqua-Africa go village to village, putting in the Water Towers.

Tut went on to talk about short term strategies, as well as long term strategies, South Sudan must act upon to build as a country. 85 percent of all goods in, South Sudan are imported. To lower costs of bringing goods in South Sudan must build more roads for travel. There is only one paved road in South Sudan. During the rainy season, all other non-paved roads become impossible to use.

Another strategy that needs to be in place for them to develop as a country is to bring together the two tribes of South Sudan. The country of Sudan had been in a civil war for 21 years before South Sudan voted to become their own country. Now South Sudan is having problems with fighting between the two tribes.

“South Sudan has been making progress in all areas. The government just signed a peace treaty so hopefully the two sides can come together,” Tut said. “What everyone fought 21 years for is not in vain. We have our independence. We have our destiny in our own hands, but we have a lot left to do.”