October 24, 2013 (BENTIU) – South Sudan’s Minister of gender child and social welfare on Wednesday said she was concerned with the rising number of street children in Unity State.
Mrs Awut Deng Achuil expressed her concern while speaking to journalists at Rubkotna airport in Unity.
Minister Achuil is on a fact finding visit in the state on the challenges faced by women, the increase on the number of street children and also to visit communities affected by floods.
Over the last two years the number of street children in Unity state has increased by 80%, according to Home of Grace and Strength, a local NGO which works with children. The NGO blames failure by parents to provide basic needs for their children as the main cause of the increase in the number of street children.
In her address to journalists, the minister said she will discuss with state authority the issue of parents who do not provide basic needs for their children thus forcing them to become street kids. The minister, however, did not specify which action her office would take to address the problem.
During her visit to the state, the minister is expected to meet flood victims with the care taker governor Joseph Nguen Monytuel. She promised to ensure response to address the concerns of the flood victims. She did not explains what kind of assistance the flood victims will get. The Unity state government says it will conduct a thorough study on how to prevent floods from reoccurring in the affected areas.
Six states in South Sudan including Unity were hit hard by flooding. More than 50,000 people in Unity state’s Payinjiar County alone are reported to be in need off urgent aid, according to national and state officials who visited the area early this month.
Flooding in South Sudan has been recurrent disaster in some areas . The affected have blamed the government for not doing enough to respond to their needs.
A lack of, and the poor state of roads has meant that urgent help for flood victims is often delayed. Additionally, most of seasonal roads in Unity state have been cut off since June following heavy rainfall.