Sudan

Humanitarian Action, Recovery, and Development in Southern Sudan Weekly Bulletin - 21 to 27 May 2007

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Summary

- Tribal clashes on the border of Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap as well as in Eastern Equatoria.

- Forced eviction in Jebel Kojur and Wilang in Juba County.

- The target for planned organised returns for 2007 has reduced by 60% (from 121,500 to 48,119).

- Organized or assisted repatriation of refugees to Sudan, mostly to the South, reaches over 62,000 individuals.

- Tensions rise in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (NBEG) due to high numbers of returns.

- Meningitis almost over, and preparedness plans for the prevention of cholera are being finalised.

Focus on stability and security

Reports have been received of clashes both in Marial Baai in Western Bahr el Ghazal and stretching in Gogriel West in Warrap. One male, drunk, from the Awan tribe (Gogrial County) misbehaved in public and some members from the Luo tribe beat him. The fight continued when other members of Awan tribe joined to assist the man. Machetes, clubs and spears were used and as a consequence fifteen people were wounded. The Governors of the affected States will visit the area in the hope to resolve the issue. Staff members have been advised to exercise extreme care when visiting the area.

Toposa tribesmen attacked Didinga villages in Lauro payam of Budi County in early May. 60 people from the Didinga tribe mainly women were killed and several others injured. Reportedly, 400 cattle and 400 goats were also stolen by the Toposa. This conflict has drawn increased political attention, and the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly is involved in the investigation and other political interventions. OCHA EP&R assembled an inter-agency assessment team to assess the humanitarian situation that moved to the area on 28 May.

Juba Evictions

Evictions and demolitions are taking place in and around Juba in order to develop and renovate currently occupied buildings. This comes at a bad time with the rains now starting. Agencies have requested the local authorities to stop the evictions until the rains are over and the affected communities have been provided with humanitarian support and assigned alternative plots. So far over 680 families have been left without adequate shelter. Many residents have opted to remain in the area and are now living in parts of their demolished homes. Those interviewed have expressed regret at their decision to return to Southern Sudan. The aid community is looking at how to ease the situation of those who are left without shelter.

Population movements and returns

Internally displaced persons (IDPs)(1)

The reduction in the planned organised IDP returns affects mostly the States of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, Warrap and Central Equatoria. The drastic reduction in target is due the lower than anticipated take up of convoys by IDPs in several operations/States. Agencies are currently considering other forms of supporting the movements such as by barge and air.

Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State has seen the highest return movement this season in both organized and spontaneous returns. As a result there is increased tension between host communities and returnees particularly over land in Aweil Centre and Aweil East which is also an area of concern due to the large concentration of returnees particularly in Malualkuel. Agencies are now gearing up to bolster humanitarian support such as food, NFIs and water to reduce the risk of the situation rapidly escalating to a humanitarian crisis. The most pressing concern is the onset of the raining season bringing with it the risk of increased cases of malaria and diarrhoea particularly among the women, children and the elderly.

Refugees(2)

IOM last week received 48 people at the Bentiu way station of which 25% were women from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. With UNICEF's support 10,000 litres of treated water was tinkered from the town water supply to the way station. Latrines and bathrooms were also put in place for immediate use.

This week 935 returnees reached home under the organized voluntary repatriation programme, out of whom 842 persons from Uganda to Central Equatoria State and 93 persons from Kenya to Unity State.

Under the assisted voluntary self-repatriation programme there were 41 returnees during the reporting week, out of whom four persons from CAR to Western Equatoria State; 32 persons from DRC to Western Equatoria State and five persons from Uganda to Central Equatoria State.

Needs and response by sector

Common Services and Coordination

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)'s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) unit is involved in several assessments this week to assess the humanitarian needs a) after the Didinga Toposa clashes in Eastern Equatoria which left over 60 people dead and b) to verify the recent reports of over 10,000 returnees from Ethiopia camped along the Pibor river.

A proposal to address needs in areas affected by the LRA over the past years was submitted to the Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) in October 2006. For various reasons, one of them being the unclear disbursement arrangements for NGOs, the proposal could not go through. At the request of the UNCT Southern Sudan, a new proposal has been submitted to address the needs provoked by the latest incursions of the LRA elements in some areas of Eastern and Western Equatoria in early 2007. The second round of talks opens a window of opportunity to address the acute humanitarian needs in the LRA affected areas.

The RCO Upper Nile State provided it's First State briefing to the Governor who remains in full support of the activities of the UN agencies and partners including in the sectors of returns and de-mining. The RCO in Juba participated in the second GoSS Donor Coordination forum and is supporting efforts for full participation of UN agencies in the Budget Sector working group process.

Education

Ministers of Education in Unity and Upper Nile State with assistance from GoSS MoEST started the successful implementation of the Fast Track Teacher training. In Malakal and Renk counties the training will last for five weeks for about 120 teachers.

Non Food Items (NFIs)

The NGO Cordaid one of the implementing partners has received 500 NFI kits from UNICEF for distribution to vulnerable households in Aweil North and West counties in Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

Health and Nutrition

Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)

Last week [14 - 20 May] saw 149 cases reported and two deaths. According to WHO this is a 29% decrease in cases as compared to the previous week. Most the cases reported were from Warrap State. With support from WHO, UNICEF and OCHA in collaboration with key ministries have now prepared and finalized a prevention and preparedness plan for cholera focusing primarily on improving water and sanitation.

Meningitis

To date, the cumulative number of cases stands at 11,894 with 668 known deaths, with a CFR of 5.6%. During the reporting period, two suspected meningitis cases with no deaths have been reported. This compares very favorably with the averages registered since 01 January, i.e. 626 and 35 cases and deaths per week respectively with a CFR of 5.5%. Most of the reporting States have so far reported no cases. WHO, UNICEF and MoH are currently taking inventory of the meningitis vaccines and medicaments currently in the country as one of the preparedness activities.

Water and Sanitation

Through the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), 15 emergency household latrines were constructed in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Health. As part of the preparedness plan against the spread of cholera, over 120 people benefited from the door to door hygiene promotion and sanitation awareness programme in Rumbek Central and East. Meanwhile five boreholes were drilled in Awerial county. Enhanced social services support the rapidly increasing population due to returns.

In Yambio town, UNICEF completed the construction of two hand dug wells fitted with hand pumps. Whereas, in Mvolo and East Mundri counties 15 community based pump mechanics and 15 communities based hygiene promoters were trained on basic hand pump repairs and hygiene promotion awareness techniques.

Food security

FAO through its partners is currently distributing seeds and tools to counties in Warrap State. The distribution will be completed this week, targeting mainly the organized returns of about 12,500 people in Warrap State.

WFP has distributed food among 8,900 returnees in Rumaker and 3,200 returnees in Mangok ayam this week. Meanwhile, verification exercise is going on and so far 2,375 returnees are verified by the team in Gok Machar and 3,000 returnees in Mayen Ulem in Aweil North county for food distribution.

Child Protection

123 community working groups have been trained in child protection in the counties of Ibba, Maridi, Mundri West and East and Mvolo. 46 social workers and 32 community child protection youth network groups were also trained in Nzara and Yambio counties.

Notes

(1) Four types of organized IDP movements are planned for 2007 in Southern Sudan: (1) from northern Sudan to Southern Sudan; (2) from South Darfur to Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State; (3) from Wau County (Western Bahr el-Ghazal State) to Warrap State and possibly to Lakes State; and (4) from the Equatoria states to other locations in the Equatoria states and to Jonglei State.

(2) Organized repatriation of refugees in 2007 is due to happen mainly from five countries: CAR, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

If you have inputs for the next edition, or questions and comments on this one, please contact:

Mona Duale, Reports Officer, OCHA, Juba, Sudan, Email: duale@un.org, Telephone: +4724137816

Melissa Phillips, Coordination and Information Officer, United Nations, Juba, Sudan, Email: phillipsm@un.org, Telephone: +249-91-2501652

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.