UNMISS Quick Impact Projects to support returnees coming back from Tambura
WESTERN EQUATORIA - “I was displaced from my village last year due to conflict. I lost four children, other relatives, and properties. I came back from Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in October to rebuild my life, but some basic services are still missing,” says Felimina Seberio, a mother of twelve.
She is one of the hundreds of persons who have recently returned to their homes in Kpatanayo village in Western Equatoria State.
With calm again prevailing in the area, some of the people who fled the violence are coming back, while others are still hesitant, not least because not all essential services are available.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is working hard to support the government in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement, which includes providing citizens with the services everyone needs.
One way for the peacekeeping mission to assist is by means of its Quick Impact Projects programme: these are low-cost initiatives able to make a significant difference in the quality of life of community members - without taking lots of time to complete.
Kpatanayo is living proof of a community benefitting from one such project: a healthcare centre recently handed over to the local authorities.
“From now on, nobody will have to deliver their babies in the bush. This facility is going to help all of us a lot, not just pregnant women but our children as well,” said Rozeta Ribago, a returnee who was present when the new piece of vital infrastructure was inaugurated.
According to Thomas Bazawi, a Protection, Transition & Reintegration Officer serving with UNMISS, the healthcare facility will not only make the lives of the village’s current population easier, but also make the prospect for displaced people to come home – and play a role in the rebuilding of their communities – more attractive.
“Women in labour have been suffering, some of them have even died from complications. Because of that, we decided to make the construction of this clinic our top priority. Now we urge peace and development partners to consider the provision of water pumps and other necessities for the community,” he said.
Local authorities have pledged to do their part.
“We will deploy medical staff and send medications to the clinic, and we will inform displaced people staying in their camps about this good news as well,” said Nathaly Dungura, Executive Director of Tambura County.
Funded by the UN peacekeeping mission, the healthcare centre was constructed by United Youth Organization, a local association. UNMISS is hoping to implement another three Quick Impact Projects in greater Tambura within the next year or so.