Home | News    Friday 23 March 2012

N. Bahr el Ghazal’s Ajak community demand better services

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By Julius N. Uma

March 22, 2012 (JUBA) — Alarmed by enormous challenges its people face, the Ajak community in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state have openly appealed to the national government to provide rehabilitation projects essential for improving their living standards.

The plea was part of resolutions derived from the first ever Ajak community conference, which was recently held in Malek Alel, Aweil South county. Over 80 people, including chiefs, payam officers, church leaders and county officials attended the two-day event.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune, Angui Akot Akot, the community’s chairman described the meeting as being fruitful, saying it provided an opportunity for the local population to voice their concerns in relation basic social services, the majority of which are lacking.

He specifically cited poor roads and communication networks, low quality education, food insecurity, environmental degradation, lack of access to clean drinking water, health and sanitation hazards as key problems people face.

Having become independent in July the South Sudanese government has many issues to address and little capacity to implement development programmes. Many functions of the state are performed by non-governmental organisations.

After decades of civil war South Sudan has minimal infrastructure.

WORRYING TRENDS

The world, according to a 2012 report, met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for drinking water at the end of 2010, when 89 per cent of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, reportedly used improved drinking water sources.

The report, entitled, “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012”, however, argues that rural dwellers - like the Ajak community - are several times more likely than their urban counterparts to be without access to safe drinking water.

On average, according to a survey conducted by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least 97 out of every 100 rural house dwellers in developing nations still lack piped water on premises.

Also, about 79 per cent of the urban population reportedly use an improved sanitation facility compared to just 47 per cent of the rural population. In addition, about 72 per cent of those without access to improved sanitation, or 1.8 billion people, reportedly live in rural areas.

During the meeting, Akot said, community chiefs were urged to promote peace and unity as well as steer harmony among the people, mainly through programs specially designed to support peace building.

“We called [upon] the county authority to encourage entrepreneurship, small scale microfinance loan[s] and job creation among women to enhance the local ability to purchase services and necessary commodities,” he remarked.

Also discussed, according to the resolutions, was the urgent call for county authorities and civil society organisations to carryout massive awareness campaigns on sanitation and hygiene in schools and the entire community

The community further deliberated on the ways of combating disease outbreaks in the area, advocating for more primary health care center facilities and the state ministry of agriculture was tasked to improve technical capacities of local farmers, in order to increase productivity in the sector.

However, in South Sudan, a country that attained independence just seven months ago, more than half of the populations still live on less than a $1 per day. To-date, the health sector remains extremely poor, while only about 4% of the land is properly utilised for agriculture, which is remains the backbone of rural communities.

Meanwhile the Ajak community, its chairperson reiterated, resolved that the steering committee adopts the resolutions of the conference and draft a constitution that will oversee elections of the proposed community leadership council; a body earmarked to comprise of 15-20 members.

(ST)

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  • 23 March 2012 07:12, by Mike Mike

    This is the right time for those who feel injustice to wakeup and ask for their right.You have really suffered a lot under the leadership of this state in which you need to rise your issue at national level and let your representatives in national assembly support your compliant such it reach where problems are solved.This is yr gvt and you have right asked it of why your right is not given to y

    repondre message

  • 23 March 2012 08:47, by AgwerJimmy

    Indeed Mike Mike, this community among others has suffered a lot under the current governorship. Let’s wait and see whether their voices will be heard so that other community also follows coz. this government only becomes friend to her pple during elections but does not deliver the services required for better life.You mess,corrupt or oppress,you still come into power.

    repondre message

  • 23 March 2012 09:27, by viper

    Congratulations Ajak Wek Ateny community! They saying says, United we stand, divide we fall. Unite to ask your basic services from the government,leave those divisive policies of Malong. You will be a good example in NBEG state. Unity is the source of victories

    repondre message

  • 23 March 2012 10:16, by Madit

    Bravo, may Almighty God make what ever you discussed be put into stat plan because Southern state has been suffered for long.

    repondre message

  • 24 March 2012 12:54, by Baldit

    the Ajak wek community had actually suffered a lot the government should at least respond to their demands

    repondre message

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