UNMISS-funded bore holes expected to end intercommunal hostilities in Kwerjik Luri

unmiss south sudan central equatoria state quick impact project bore holes intercommunal violence gender-based violence water

There was much rejoicing as two bore holes with accompanying hand pumps were handed over to the local community. Photos: Moses Pasi/UNMISS

21 Jul 2022

UNMISS-funded bore holes expected to end intercommunal hostilities in Kwerjik Luri

Moses Pasi/Filip Andersson

CENTRAL EQUATORIA-Water is life, our planet, as we know it, is mostly water and yet there is sometimes a lack of it, causing people to fight over what is available.

This is what used to take place between the communities of Lomorja and Dijeri in the vicinity of Kwerjik Luri near the capital Juba, but with the recent handing over of two fine bore holes, funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), those dire days should be over.

“With these bore holes being very close to where we live, we will be able to avoid the physical and emotional harm we have often been subjected to when walking long distances to fetch water from elsewhere,” says Esther Poni, a resident in the area.

The peacekeeping mission’s investment of almost $40,000 to construct the bore holes was prompted by last year’s conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, who clashed over the limited availability of water.

Estimated to benefit more than 7,000 people, the drumming, singing and dancing to celebrate the handing over of the bore holes was more than justified.

Wishing the two communities all the best and for peaceful coexistence to replace intercommunal tensions, UNMISS representative Cephus Diggs emphasized the need for togetherness to guarantee harmonious relations.

“We all need to stand up for peace and ensure that women and girls are protected from gender-based violence and other forms of mistreatment when they go about their daily business, including fetching water,” he said, adding that the new bore holes should also facilitate the successful return of persons who previously left the area because of the plague of violence.