South Sudan

Partners expanding UNMISS protection site in Bentiu

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23 February 2015 - Work was underway to expand the UNMISS protection site in the Unity State capital Bentiu to improve living conditions for internally displaced people (IDPs), an UNMISS official said today.

According to UNMISS Relief, Reintegration and Protection Officer Marco Tesser, the extended camp will have drainage and pumps which will help deal with flooding in the site.

“The protection of civilians site is a temporary solution and it is not possible to work and raise the ground of the current (site) since people are living in it and that is why it is necessary extend to a new site,” he said.

The work is implemented by International Organization for Migration with the funding from the Netherlands and Switzerland governments as well as European Community Humanitarian Office, the Common Humanitarian Fund and United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

Mr. Tesser also noted that extending the protection site would also help to reduce congestion in the site where more than 50,000 people are seeking shelter.

He explained that currently, there is about 11 square metres per person, which is below the standard humanitarian requirement of 30 square metres of living space per person.

Mr. Tesser added once extended, the protection site will have the capacity of sheltering up to 60,000 IDPs, which would help cater for any future influx.

Clearing the ground was already ongoing as was procuring local construction materials and it was expected that the work would be completed by mid-June, he said.

He noted that his would depend on factors like the weather as well as availability of resources.