Minister of Health Toured Aweil to Access the COVID-19 situation.

The national minister of health arrived in Aweil for a two-day visit to assess the health condition and  COVID-19 center.

She was received by the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal  Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor with her delegation on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with Akol Yam FM, Minister Elizabeth Achuei Yol said her mission is to assess health facilities and listen to medical workers’ conditions.

Aweil has one COVID-19 center known as Light House. It was established as an isolation center to keep coronavirus patients.

Achuei said  that the data she will collect would be used to improve health conditions.

“I came here to assess what I will manage to support the local communities in terms of health. I have already seen that there are few health officials. There is a lack of drugs. I want to add that women don’t lie if I accept to work on one thing, then I will ensure. If I see that there is nothing of my capacity, then I will not promise. Minister Achuei said.

She said that she alone can’t do anything without support from the top leadership to improved health situation in the country.

I am a minister, I have my bosses, and if they are not willing to support the plan, then it cannot happen,” said Achuei.

 Adding that this is  why many top officials may be seen as liars when they make promises which they don’t keep.

She also said that her ministry proposed wages increase for the health workers in the upcoming budget submitted to the cabinets for approval.

Some health officials in NBG state expressed concern about the shortage of medical workers at their facilities.

John Agany Deng is the director at the state ministry of health.

He said that they have challenges ranging from  low payment and irregular drugs supplies to health facilities in the state.

He also said they do not have mean of transport to  visited remotes health facilities in the state.

Adding that even the frontline health workers haven’t been paid any incentives in the fight against coronavirus.

Agany said that he hope that the minister of health will address some of their concerns which she has seen  here.

Other health workers spoke about prioritizing service delivery to the people.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal recorded 11 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic begins and all are discharged.

Three people have been arrested in Aweil for Illegal land Auctioned

Authorities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said they have three officials in police custody accused to have illegally sold public land. The accused are staff from the state ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development. It’s not clear how many plots they have sold out.

The Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor said he is dismayed by the allegation of mismanagement. Saying “it disregarded the law”. 

Akeen said the illegal allotment of land is a fraud that has causes a lot of concerns from the public. Adding that his government has received more complaints from the community.

He said the suspects will be arraigned in court to face justice on their illegal land dealing.

Stephen Ajook is the director-general in the ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.  He said the three staff that have been arrested are employees of the ministry but they acted in personal capacity and were not directed by anyone  in the ministry.

“We are aware that the police have detained some of our staff; what happened is that they are accused of selling public lands and they were caught red-handed last week.”Said Stephen.  

He said that a case has been opened against the individuals and will proceed to court.

Adding that currently they are not surveying any land, and there are no empty plots that the Ministry can sell out.

Some of the community members who spokes to Akol Yam 91 FM said those  officials have caused many land problems in the State.

They said that the people who have been arrested are the same people you deal with when processing land documents in the ministry of infrastructure.

Deng Majok is one of the youth representative in Aweil. He said that they want the government to established a digital filing system that can help detect any duplications of plot.  

Majok said that having a database system will prevent land fraud from individuals who erase other people’s names in the public record”.  

Some residents in Aweil blamed the  ministry of physical infrastructure and rural development as the cause of many land disputes in the State.

Kapoeta: Kuleu Lights Academy postpone school opening.

The Kuleu Lights Academy’s primary administration in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria has postponed school reopening this week for standard eight candidates over financial constraints. The school administration has rejected the operational burden without cash to pay teachers.

Students saw the postponement of school reopening as a worse move that will affect over 30 candidates who will risk missing classes before they sit their final national exam in December 2020.

Two weeks ago, the ministry of education announced the reopening of schools across the country. In March, the government has closed down all schools due to the coronavirus outbreak that has affected global activities.

The school director said they needed money to pay teachers and institution operations. Now learners are worried about their future to catch up with lessons. The administration claimed they had made an arrangement of increasing school fees to 27,000 pounds this year, but parents disagreed.

Pastor James Lokuuda confirmed that they had taken a unanimous decision. The school will remain close this year until their demands are met. He urged the candidates to get enrolled in other schools.

“We have decided we postpone the opening of the school to next year because we cannot afford it. There is no money to pay the teachers or even feed them the normal breakfast and lunch that they get from the school. We can’t do that. And also we may recommend them because now they are not coming. If anyone who wanted their child to get into school this year, they can take them to Kotome primary because Kotome is also a good school or even to Kapoeta day”.

Parents were dismayed by the administration’s decision. They suggested the school be open and pay the school fees slowly.

“This is wrong because the schools were declared to reopen. If they wanted money to be paid more than twenty, now if these students will remain home, they will get spoils. Many of them will enter the markets; others will become drunkards. Lokkuda cannot decide this, let him call parents to come for a meeting. Let him collect this money slowly up to next year because this is the same year that these learners paid. Parents have just started collecting little money for this pupil to return to school”.

The students urge the school’s administration to calls for a general meeting between parents, teachers, and students.

“We don’t know the problem why they close, and they heard that they add a lot of fees and parents has to come parent refuses to go to school because of the money that has been added that why the school is close, they need to call the parent and the head of the school he should help school children.

Fuel shortage affects public transports in NBGs.

The business traders in Northern Bhar El Ghazal State say a dramatic increase in fuel price from 200 to 2,000 pounds per one liter has affected the cars and Boda Boda movement on Monday 12th.

The business people were alarm over higher economic inflation in the country. They said fuel rate shoot-up over the weekend has made some people stranded to access the market. They believe such development will cause a rapid scarcity of goods and services.

The Chairperson of Trader’s Union in NBGs, Deng Makol Athian, has warned people to stop selling fuel at a higher price. He advised residents to buy petrol at the legal fuel stations because a liter of petrol costs 500 pounds.

“We are aware of this crisis, but the petrol has not increased. Why do people leave the petrol station and buy from the black market? Those people charge more money, but there is available petrol in one fuel station despite the congestion. We are expecting some oil trucks to arrive at Aweil soon, and everything will return to normal; I want to advise traders to avoid exploiting the public.” Makol stated.

The Boda Boda rider Taban John felt worried about a price increase. “I tried to buy a 500 ml bottle of petrol this morning at 1000 SSP, but I have not got even one passenger today because they are afraid of the price that increased due to an increase of petrol, it seems I will go home with nothing”. 

Ajiing Upeiu had a similar reaction: he appealed to the State government to come up with immediate amicable solutions.  

“Our Government should prioritize basic needs like fuel. Everyone uses petrol differently. I bought a fuel bottle at 1000 SSP, which will not return me home on my bike. It’s tough.”

Some community members say they are afraid of a commodities price increase. They say their families will soon lack food to eat if the economic deflation is not addressed. 

Resident Adut Mawien urged Government to intervene.

“You see, this thing is about the traders, and they want to make abnormal profits without thinking of the public. This morning I came from Mapper to town here at 600 SSP, which used to be 200 SSP. I am just thinking of how I will return home; the Boda Boda will finish the money I might have made in the market.

A government official who demands anonymity says people will not afford public transport due to vulnerability, because many residents have no financial capacity. He explained that his monthly salary is only 3000 pounds. “This money is not paid on time by the government,” he stressed.

“I can afford a liter fuel with 2000 pounds. I came here in the morning to this petrol station, but the station is closed. If I can’t get petrol here to struggle for my children, they will not have anything to eat. We hear that petrol stations have fuel, but they don’t want to give out.”

Last week, Aweil reported severe river flooding that distracted the main roads connects the state capital with its Counties, making it difficult to transport goods.

Warrap: 21 wounded patients lack medication in Romic

Health authorities in Warrap State’s Romic County have reported that at least 21 patients wounded during the communal violence in Tonj East have stranded without prescription.

The hospital said it run out of drugs to treat the patients and all road cutoff to get more supply.

It calls for the government quick intervention to save the lives of those patients.

Patients wounded during the communal clashes in Luangjang, Thiik and Akok find it difficult to recover as the hospital reported a lack of drugs to treat them. Some of the patients have  broken injuries which requires proper treatment. 

The director of hospital in Romic County Mr Manyang Makuc Machiek said the facility do not have anti-biotic to help the patients.

Makuc stated that some patients had left the hospital to seek the traditional medication, which could not be advisable but no option.

“In Romic here have no possibility for them to go to Tonj South, Wau, or elsewhere because the road is impassable. Even Marial Lou is not accessible because it is in the route where the conflict erupted. So, it is a terrible situation,” He said.

Some patients spokes to Mayardit FM. They said the hospital advised them to buy drugs from a private clinic, but all were looted during the fighting.

They call on  the government to urgent intervention to safe lives that are  at risk.

There are no drugs in the hospital, which has forced some of the patients to go home and follow the traditional treatment. So, we are suffering because the entire market was looted” 

The authority has promised that the International Committee Red Cross is making arrangements to supply drugs.

Warrap State Governor- Hon: Bona Panek Biar said  the patients with serious gunshots will be flown to Juba for further medication.

But he could not mention the timeline.

”We have talked to ICRC on how they are to airlifted the patients. And this is what we are following now. ICRC is the one to airlift them, and directly they are communicating with their head office in Juba. This is because they also fear their lives. They have found that people are killed in Tonj.” Panek said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross –ICRC has expressed concern about the situation of the wounded persons left without drugs. It said discussion underway with the authority to rescue the patients.

South Sudan plan to change currency.

The government of South Sudan has revealed a plan to change the currency, saying it is the only option left to mitigate soaring inflation.

The council of ministers directed the economic crisis committee and the central bank to come up with a plan of changing the currency and present it to the council of ministers next week for approval.

The government spokesperson said the decision was reached after the cabinets deliberate on the matter.

The minister of information Michael Makuei Lueth briefed the media in Juba on Friday, saying they came to the conclusion that people are keeping money in the houses.

He said the move is a strategy to force those keeping money in their houses to take them to the bank.

“The cabinet has decided that the currency should be changed so that anybody who doesn’t take their money to the bank will be left out and will lose that money,” Makuei said.

The government said it had mandated the committee to do all appropriate ways possible and develop one clear policy on the economy.

“Most of the citizens are keeping the money in their houses for so many reasons. Some fear if they take their money to the bank, they may be confiscated. However, this is a typical situation that has been happening, and there is always a solution,” Makuei said.

The government stated that the idea aims to improve economic challenges. It’s not clear what type of currency South Sudan wants to introduce.

And how this will be possible with current flooding that cutoff road accessibility and COVID-19 restrictions to reaches all Country.

President Kiir formed the economic crisis management committee in August this year after the central bank said it had run out of foreign exchange reserves.

Kiir appointed vice President Dr. James Wani Igga to head the crisis management committee.

Awan Community contribute 7,000 US dollar to support flood victims

The Awan Chan community in Warrap State have contributed 7,000 dollars to support internally displaced persons affected by flood in the remote villages.  Seven thousand US dollars were donated after the committee formed to lead the fundraising initiative.

The committee’s leading member said the money contributed will be used to buy medicines, food items, and non – food items to support affected families.

Committee representative Garang Bol Akoon promised that the contribution would continue until the target amount of 15 thousand US dollars reach.

“We are almost done because there are some people that have made pledges. So, we wouldn’t again stay here for two weeks before we take the support home. And if our targeted amount is not met, then we will go with what we have. We decided this because people didn’t cultivate due to flooding with its associated diseases” Bol stated.

Member of the community leader of the Awan Chan community Mr. Agau Agau Lual, has welcomed the contribution. He urged the committee to consider food assistance as a “priority”.

“I am truly excited and NOT only me but the entire community of Awan Chan that includes Akon South and North for the great contribution have they done. This support will help those in need wouldn’t be enough. It plays some role. So, we deeply appreciate them”Agau said.

Lual says, thirty-one villages have been affected, and many farms destroyed in the area starting from July this year.

The selected committee task for fundraising explained that their target beneficiaries for the funds are Akon North and Akon South Payams of the Awan Chan community.

The severe flooding in South Sudan has forced more than 600,000 people to flee their homes since July, according to the United Nations. Most places affected include Jonglei, Upper, Unity, and part of the Bahr El gazal region.

One hundred recovered cattle return to owners in Yirol

The community leaders in Yirol West County have returned over one hundred-headed of cattle to owners. According to the police, the cattle were raided in Rumbek East on Thursday by suspected cattle rustlers.

Authority said the recovered livestock had been given back to rightful owners on Sunday, two days after the raiding incident occurred. The raided cattle were traced through youth and community chiefs at Aluak Luak Payam in Lakes State.

Chairperson of Peace Committee in Greater Yirol Hon. Chol Kuotwel argued that handing over recovered cows to the owners would pave the way for a lasting peace among the neighboring communities.

The first time raided cattle were legally given back to rightful owners peaceful in Lakes State following years of inter-communal violence over cattle rustling.

“We want the community to cooperate with the government when your cows are stolen.  Come to the government to solve the problem, don’t take laws into your own hands.  Don’t go for revenge raiding; come directly to the government.  It will follow your rights from suspected criminals and give it to you without the coursing problem. So stop revenging. This is the form of cooperation we want to stop revenge.  Let the government apply laws and orders to eliminate crimes in the State,” Chol said.

One of the cattle owner Majok Thuc who has received his 29 cows being raided, applauded the initiative. He explained his cow was raided during grazing time. Simultaneously, calling the government and the community members to end cattle raiding and revenge killing.

“It surprised me to recover the raided cattle in Lakes State,” Thuc said.

He Stated that many cattle raided and never been returned to the rightful owners.  “My cattle have been raided three times, but this third raiding, my cows were returned. I’m happy and appreciated the State government for bringing back my cattle.  This is a tremendous surprise to the community of Rumbek East County.”

Another pastoralist said he has received forty cattle but still seven cows are missing.

Mangon Dut Madol commended the effort of Community leaders who said it will promote permanent peace among the neighboring clans in Lakes State.

“Government is still searching for the missing cows and am feeling secured here with community leaders they are working hands in hands with the government to maintain peace between two neighboring communities. The government has promised me to bring seven missing cows once trace out”.

Manyang Ater who has also got his 20 cows returned expressed readiness to support the committee on the search for rustlers

Traditional leaders of Apaak have done a great job with the entire community at Aluak-Luak to trace out looted cattle. Their leaders assure us to bring back the missing cows am now waiting for my two cows to be returned from the suspected criminals” Ater stated.

Last week suspected group from Yirol West raided over 200 cattle in neighboring Rumbek East County.