South Sudan – an Update from LWF Upper Nile, South Sudan – 1st October 2012

An Update from LWF Upper Nile, South Sudan, 1 October, 2012

by Mairo Retief, Team Leader, Emergency Hub in Upper Nile, South Sudan

Heavy rains in recent weeks have been hampering access, movement and the start up operations in Upper Nile South Sudan       © Mairo Retief / LWF South Sudan

It has been a slow start with the flooding that reduced movement to a minimal in the last 2 weeks and then this week there was a riot between the host community and a refugee at one of the camps which meant no agencies were allowed to travel for a few days. Things are calm again and LWF program staff have landed on the ground so we are hoping to get things moving in the coming week.

The riot was related to a payment of a host to a refugee for tea in the market and escalated into 16 wounded and 1 death after the refugee beat the woman from the host community. This was a trigger to an underlying issue of the refugees coming in and using host community resources. It will only get worse and there needs to be a strong move by the camp management agencies with UNHCR to bring the two together to resolve any disputes and to discuss how best the two communities can live in harmony.

LWF have acquired land for a compound and this week a fence has been put up around it. We are still waiting for our equipment from Nairobi to come by cargo flight but the tax exemption is taking longer than expected. Once the materials arrive the team can move forward with setting up the compound, so we continue to stay at the UNHCR compound in Bunj.

We have recruited national staff in Juba and should receive education and child protection officers next week to support the expat staff.

Discussions are ongoing with Save and Intersos as to how best LWF can work in the camps in the areas of Child protection and Education. Again without our materials it becomes difficult to get activities running but we are hoping that we can get them in soon. We will begin recruiting incentive staff in the camps in the coming week and then training them. We hope that in 2 weeks we will have at least one school with ECD and CFS running.

But the pressure is on the team right now to get things moving, as we are asked in the interagency meetings how fast we can get our activities started.

Mairo Retief, Team Leader, Emergency Hub in Upper Nile, South Sudan

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