Sudan

UNICEF Operations in South Sudan Monthly Report Aug 2000


Visit of Karin Sham Poo
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director

The Deputy Executive Director for UNICEF, Ms Karin Sham Poo, visited OLS Southern Sector locations from 21-25 August. Her five-day trip included visits to Rumbek, Yambio, Lokichokio and Nairobi operations.

During her visit to Rumbek, Ms Sham Poo met with UNICEF staff members, viewed the ongoing Juvenile Justice Training for the South Sudan Law Society, received briefings from UNICEF programme staff and met with local authorities, NGOs and UN agencies on location. She also visited a cattle camp, a bush school and the Deng Nhial Primary School.

In Yambio, Ms Sham Poo visited with local authorities and saw the ongoing UNICEF water projects. She then received more briefings on UNICEF programme activities, visited the Yambio Girl’s School, the community centre and again met with NGO and UN agency staff.

During her visit to Lokichokio, Ms Sham Poo was asked to open the new Lokichokio branch of the Kenya Commercial Bank. She also visited UNICEF-assisted water projects focused on the local Turkana community.

Her visit with Nairobi-based staff was brief, but Ms Sham Poo was able to receive another briefing from OLS consortium heads on the new structures in OLS and how they would have an impact on the delivery of services to southern Sudan.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Highlights

  • The operational environment in Western Upper Nile remains poor and OLS agencies await opportunities to deliver needed supplies.
  • Central Upper Nile continues to cause concern. Joint agency meetings have developed a plan for bringing aid to the under-served area.
  • Assistance to northern Bahr el Ghazal continues as the security situation stabilizes during the month.
  • Possibility of flight restrictions continues to exercise over ability to respond.


Western Upper Nile

During the month of August, the operating environment in the area remained very poor. The continual movement of people exacerbated the situation and population figures continued to fluxuate wildly.

Key agencies remained in close communication and assessment findings were shared with a view to taking advantage of any available chances to bring in much needed relief items.

UNICEF and SC-UK await the opportunity to deliver supplies earmarked for earlier identified target areas.

Central Upper Nile

Concern continues to build with regard to the general nutritional situation in central Upper Nile. The departure of MSF-Belgium from the consortium is forcing WFP to reevaluate collaborations with the NGO. In addition, insecurity has again hindered a number of WFP operations in the area.

Joint meetings throughout the month brought together key agencies and saw the development of a multifaceted approach to engaging in this chronically under-served area. As a result, at least two additional agencies are looking to become operational in the area.

Eastern Upper Nile

The situation in this area continues to be monitored. Possible displacements are extremely difficult to predict and setting priorities across Upper Nile continues to complicate the operational environment in this area.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal

The security situation on ground appears to have "calmed" although the effects of access denial remained ever present through the month. Work done during the last two months was successful in building preparedness and clear lessons are now being drawn in terms of the network of agencies and methods of operation. These are of particular merit when seeking to respond to the perennial issues of security and the complexities of displacement overlaying continued food insecurity in counties such as Aweil West.

UNICEF, Tear Fund, Save the Children-UK, IRC and a number of other leading agencies continue to respond in terms of non-food identified needs. WFP also distributed food in some parts of northern Bahr el Ghazal.

Kapoeta County

This area remains extremely difficult, with humanitarian work (mainly direct food aid and veterinary activities) continually hampered by insecurity.

Airboats Arrive

The long-anticipated airboats have arrived and are being flown to Lokichokio and then into Upper Nile to assist with ongoing emergency interventions in the area. It is anticipated that the airboats will have an immediate impact on both the emergency interventions and the on-going polio vaccination campaigns and will allow access to vulnerable populations previously inaccessible to relief agencies due to the swampy terrain. The boats will be based in Nyal, Upper Nile, and will serve the entire area. A team of four boat ‘pilots’ have traveled with the boats and will train a locally-based team of mechanics to service and operate the boats following their departure. Future updates will follow as the boats are transported and then made operational.

Health

Highlights

  • Distribution of medical supplies continues with some 68 PHCU kits and 20 boxes of ORS distributed throughout the month.
  • UNICEF supports emergency intervention in meningitis outbreak.


Overview

Continued insecurity during the month of August, especially in areas of Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal, resulted in displaced population movement in search of safety, food, shelter and medication. In response, the UNICEF health section conducted several interventions to supply emergency and Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) kits as well as Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS).

Provision of Medical Supplies

  • Pre-positioning of emergency health supplies took place in Malualkon, Mapel, Akon and Rumbek.
  • Provision of 12 PHCU kits and 12 ORS kits took place to the county SRRA Medical Coordinator in Rumbek for the health intervention of the displaced Nuer communities moving in Maper Payam.
  • 16 PHCU kit and 8 boxes of ORS were issued and used for the displaced population from Gogrial to Ajiep.
  • A total of 26 PHCU kits were given to SMC for health interventions in Boma and Kapoeta Counties.
  • A total of 8 PHCU kits were distributed for use in Walgak and 6 kits given to FRRA for Upper Nile.
  • New Polio and DPT vaccines arrived in Nairobi in early August and were moved to Lokichokio.
  • Emergency kit A-G and vaccines were distributed for cross border measles campaigns to benefit over 7,000 children under five.
  • 50,000 doses of the measles vaccine, syringes and vitamin A were issued for measles/Vit A campaigns in displaced camps in Motot and Tanganyang, Upper Nile.


Meningitis Outbreak Response

UNICEF supported the emergency response interventions for a suspected Meningitis outbreak reported in Lankien through WHO with 500 vials of chlorapmphenical. Emergency kits were also sent to Lankien in cooperation with WHO.

Other Health Activities

The planned sub-National Immunization Days (SNIDs) for Polio campaign for "mopping up" in areas of poor coverage last year has begun, with polio campaign supplies given for Turalei, Aweil West.

An Essential Community Child Health Care Training Workshop for Trainers in Adior for Yirol County, was held from 31 July to 4 August in cooperation with WHO and CCM. The training was followed by a work-shop in Rumbek for Rumbek County Community Health Workers from 7-12 August. Training materials and communications equipment were given to support the training.

Education

Highlights

  • First phase of Yambio Primary Girl’s School rehabilitation almost complete.
  • Teacher’s training continues in Yambio with particular focus on female teachers.
  • Education and Water/Sanitation collaborate to bring facilities to schools.
  • One-day meeting held on Support to teachers.


Renovation of Primary Girl’s School Underway

The first phase of the renovation of the primary girls’ school in Yambio is almost complete with four classrooms and three offices rehabilitated. Work continues on the rehabilitation of the school store and the head mistress’ house, as well as on the establishment of water points and latrines.

In the second phase of the construction, four additional classrooms and a library/resource center will be constructed. The school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is planning to put up a fence around the school, assist in digging pit latrines and in constructing a temporary building to accommodate one classroom. The renovation of the school has also motivated the community to contribute to the support of teachers and has motivated more girls to enroll in the school. UNICEF has provided the school with basic materials, textbook kits and material for 500 school uniforms.

The school has a total enrollment of 294 girls in five grades. Plans for the school include expansion up to Class Eight in the next three years.

Teacher’s Training

Also in Yambio, UNICEF has provided materials for the training of 40 teachers supported by CRS and has provided funding assistance to ADRA to run another training for 60 teachers and 40 Head Teachers. Negotiations are underway with the local authorities and ADRA to focus particularly on women. At least 40 female teachers will be included both in the headmasters and teachers training.

Water and Sanitation in Yambio Schools

UNICEF’s Education and Water and Sanitation Sectors are working together to provide water and sanitation facilities to schools in Yambio County. The goal is to provide safe drinking water and sanitary facilities to all the schools in the county. This year, the programmes target a total of 15 schools in the county. Yambio Girls’ Primary School is first on the list for water and sanitation facilities. That school, along with Bazungua, Suara, Naakiri, Nanzari, and Bagere Primary schools, will have the facilities within the next two months.

Life Skills Research Completed

Two research teams on Life Skills Curriculum completed their field research in Yambio and Rumbek and have spent August finalizing the report on their findings. Based on these findings, a Life Skills Curriculum and learning materials for southern Sudan will be developed in the coming months and piloted in the two counties. The research teams are made up of Sudanese students from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

‘Support of Teachers’ workshop held in Rumbek

In Rumbek, UNICEF organized a one-day workshop at the training center on support to teachers. This was done as part of the work of the Task Force on Support to Teachers established by the OLS education coordination group. Counterparts, local authorities, chiefs, parents and NGOs discussed extensively the strength of the community and local authorities and how that can be utilized to support education and particularly teachers. Experiences were shared relating to the existing mode of support to teachers. Some of the recommendations of the meeting included the commitment from the highest local authorities to allocate 2% of the collected taxes for education support and decision that as from next academic year, each pupil will have to pay 5,000 Sudanese Pounds in school fees.

Distribution of School Supplies

The distribution of the scheduled supplies for the month of August was interrupted due to flight suspensions. Despite this, a total of 2.4 tonnes of education support materials were delivered to areas in southern Sudan. Half of this amount was school textbooks from the Curriculum Center for Primary Schools in Kapoeta, Rumbek, Nyal and Yambio. The rest were teacher training modules and teacher’s incentives for the Malualkon and Yambio training centers.

Protection

Highlights

  • Juvenile Justice and Legal Protection workshop held in Rumbek.
  • Working group on child soldiers meets in Nairobi and Lokichokio.


Workshop on Juvenile Justice and Legal Protection of Children

Between 21-23 August, the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) and UNICEF jointly organized a three-day workshop in Rumbek on Juvenile Justice and Legal Protection of Children. The workshop was conducted by a team of international and Sudanese consultants and covered international law on child criminal justice and crime prevention in relation to Sudanese statutory and customary law and practice. Concluding recommendations for further action included a resolution to review laws and legal practices vis-a-vis the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The international consultants spent three weeks in Sudan to conduct an assessment on juvenile justice and legal protection in southern Sudan.

Working Group Meetings on Child Soldiers

During the Protection Coordination Meeting in early August, it was decided that a working group on child soldiers would be formed in order to prepare for a workshop on strategies for child soldier demobilization and prevention of recruitment to be held in mid-October 2000. The working group has been established and has met in both Nairobi and Lokichokio. A strategy paper is to be released soon.

Nutrition

Agriculture and Fisheries

Highlights

  • Heavy rains in August follow dry spells in June and July.
  • Follow-up on vegetable growing technology continued in Rumbek and Yambio.
  • Ox-plough projects taking off in Lakes and Bahr el Ghazal, although shortage of equipment has hindered progress in Upper Nile.
  • Fisheries associations continue, with UNICEF distributing 9,600 balls of twine and 210,000 hooks during the month.


Environmental Conditions

Southern Sudan experienced a resurgence of intensive rainfall in August, following a short dry spell in June and part of July. The Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions reported particularly heavy rainfall in many locations, which is expected to be a boon for the longer-term varieties of Sorghum that are still in the fields. The impact of this rainfall pattern on fishing and fodder for livestock is seen as positive, as vegetation has regenerated and limited flooding presents a good environment for fishing. Wild fruits and vegetables have also enjoyed some minimal growth. More wild plants are expected to blossom as a result of these heavier rains.

Crop performance

The short dry spell in June negatively affected the short-maturing crop varieties and below normal yields are expected in Western Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, and some parts of Upper Nile. The resurgence of heavy rainfall will boost the late maturing Sorghum varieties as this is likely to trigger tillering and compensatory growth especially for crops which are on higher ground. With the heavy down-pour, there is however fear of flooding in the low-lying areas which again is likely to destroy crops planted in those areas. Yields of Maize, Sorghum, Groundnuts, and Simsim are reported to be normal in Rumbek and Cuiebet. Farmers in Tonj County who used ox-cultivation extensively had larger areas planted and markedly better crops than those who used the simple hand cultivation tools. They too expect normal yields for Groundnuts, Sorghum, Maize, and Simsim.

Vegetable Growing

Farmers throughout southern Sudan continued to utilize indigenous vegetable plants, which sprouted with the recent rains. Follow-up training on Vegetable Growing Technology (a collaborative effort between UNICEF and AVRDC) continued in Yambio and Rumbek. Each of the 30 farmers who were previously trained brought an additional 10 farmers for the course. With technical backing from UNICEF, the farmers established demonstration plots in four locations in Yambio. A one-week training session on Vegetable growing will be held in Rumbek in September.

Farmers from all regions continue to request vegetable seeds, a sign that the activity is gaining popularity with the farmers. The most popular types are Okra, Eggplant, Tomato, Jews mellow, pumpkin and Onion. Despite the demand this season, UNICEF’s agriculture section did not supply vegetable seeds due to funding constraints.

Animal draught technology

Animal draught technology has been utilized in Lakes and Bahr el Ghazal. As a result, farmers who cultivated with oxen had larger areas planted and better yield prospects. In Upper Nile however, the technology had less success as there seemed to be a marked shortage of ox-ploughs. The estimated demand for ox-ploughs were: Aweil East (200), Aweil West (150), Tonj (200), Yirol (50) and Rumbek (300).

More financial support is required in this project in order to provide the needed supplies to households.

Fisheries

Support to fishing activities continued during the month with special focus on emergency relief, Fishing Associations and general distribution. In collaboration with the Emergency Preparedness and Response team and various NGOs, UNICEF distributed a total of 9,600 rolls of twine and 210,000 hooks of various sizes to Boma, Nyamlel, Turalei, Padak, Duar, Mading, Pabuong, Bieh, Wathjak, Wicok, Nhialdiu, Mankien and Gumriak.

Monitoring of progress on the ongoing development of the Fishery Associations continued with the following results posted from some of the Associations:

Association
Production in Bundles
Dry Fish Surplus
Price Per Fish
Amount in Sudanese Pounds
River Lol Fisheries Association
452
4,390
3,000
6,585,000
River Jur Fisheries Association
857
795
6,000
1,192,500
North Bor Fisheries Association
420
2,900
7,000
2,900,000

Livestock Services

Highlights

  • Emergency veterinary supplies placed in Rumbek, Mapel and Malualkon.
  • Rinderpest outbreak proven false, while suspected outbreaks of PPR and Newcastle disease are undergoing investigation.


Medical Equipment and Supply of Vaccines

During the month, emergency veterinary supplies were placed in Rumbek, Mapel and Malualkon to cater for any influx of IDPs from northern Bahr el Ghazal and western Upper Nile.

In Thiet and Aweil West, community dialogue for the coming rinderpest vaccination campaign was in process. Supplies of rinderpest vaccines were issued to the areas and routine treatment of stock was ongoing. Thiet has also reported recovering 25% of the Cost Recovery money which was owed to the program by defaulters.

Emergency veterinary supplies were obtained to cover the River Jur population but are yet to be sent into the field.

The latest Rinderpest campaign is due to begin on 10 th September in Tonj County.

Outbreak/Disease Reports and Investigation

Rumours of a Rinderpest outbreak were received from the Bira area in Torit County. This was investigated by the SRRA Vet Coordinator and proven to be a false alarm. Samples were taken from sick animals and are suspected to be CBPP and trypanosomiasis.

There was also a suspected outbreak of PPR goats disease in Twic and Aweil East. It is being investigated but no reports have yet been received.

During the month, a Newcastle disease epidemic was reported in Lopit area. This was also being investigated.

Training, Meetings and other Livestock Activities

UNICEF Livestock staff met with USAID and Tufts’ University personnel to discuss Biodiversity - wildlife/livestock issues in management of household food security.

Two UNICEF staff members attended the Household Food Security meeting in Nairobi organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

UNICEF staff member, Dr. George Were, who has been based in northern Sudan for two months has just returned after visiting Khartoum, Juba, Malakal, El Obeid and El Fula.

The new UNICEF vet has restarted the livestock program at Naita in Kapoeta County to fill in after the withdrawl of German Agro Aktion. Recent rain has improved the grazing conditions and the communities are now prepared for the rinderpest vaccination campaign late in the month of September.

The Veterinary Outbreaks Epidemiologist is currently in Ganyiel assisting VSF-Belgium with a refresher training of animal health auxiliaries.

Planning/Monitoring and Evaluation

Highlights

  • M&E Section produces informational maps for special meetings and visits.
  • SRRA M&E workshop takes place with support from UNICEF.


Map and Data Production

The following special maps were produced to support visits and programme activities during the month:

  • For a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council, New York, to illustrate aerial bombing around UN and other humanitarian compounds and the subsequent suspension of OLS operations.
  • For the visit of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs for Sudan, Ambassador Vraalsen, during his visit to Nairobi from 23-25 August.
  • For the visit of UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Karin Sham Poo from 16-21 August.
  • For the briefing of United States Senator Joseph Rees to illustrate year 2000 achieved/planned UNICEF sector activities and inputs.
  • For the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide maps and data on health/nutrition NGOs.
  • For the UNICEF Protection Section - on Bor County IDP resettlement.
  • For OCHA Khartoum - production of information and maps on OLS Southern Sector NGOs
  • Generation of livestock vaccination reports for VSF-Belgium for January - December 1999.


SRRA M&E Workshop

An SRRA-run M&E workshop was held in Mapel from 17-31 August. The objective of the workshop was to bring together SRRA County Database and Monitoring Officers to get an update on the food security situation and fine-tune the May SRRA workshop food security forecast. A secondary objective was the training of SRRA Officers on food security, early warning systems and disaster management. This was provided by consultants from ETC-East Africa (funding secured by SRRA). UNICEF assisted with facilitation of air transport for participants.

Human Rights Promotion

Highlights

  • Human Rights teams continue training with 76 participants trained in Wullu and 36 trained in Rumbek.
  • 120 people trained in Landmines awareness in Wullu and Pacuong.


Rights Awareness Workshops Continue

The Rights Awareness Teams that UNICEF trained in July continued their work throughout August. The Rumbek County Team conducted a human rights work-shop in Wullu Payam in August, which was attended by 76 participants. The workshop included both a general introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as specific principles such as the best interest of the child, the child’s right to express an opinion, and non-separation of the child from his or her parents.

The community agreed that most of the human rights issues raised by the facilitators are relevant to local customs and norms of their community. Participants also recognized that some negative traditions such as early marriage needed to be addressed through methods such as encouraging girls to attend school. At the end of the workshop, the participants requested that the Rights Awareness Team extend its work to outlying villages and cattle camps.

In addition to this training, the Human Rights Promotion Officer conducted a training workshop in human rights and humanitarian principles for 36 local staff in Rumbek County. The workshop introduced basic concepts of human rights such as equality, universality, non-discrimination, indivisibility, and responsibility. Participants also discussed how UNICEF should integrate the principles raised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child into their projects’ activities.

Landmines project conducts awareness training

The Landmines project conducted two mine awareness training workshops during August in Pacuong and Wullu payams. Each session trained 60 community members on how to identify and mark mined areas. The Wullu workshop focused on schools, and the Pacuong workshop addressed community leaders.

Water and Environmental Sanitation

Highlights

  • Water and Environmental Sanitation activities continued throughout the month with a total of 32 boreholes drilled.
  • Hygiene and Sanitation activities continue in Rumbek and Yambio with meeting held in both areas on the promotion of H/S messages.


General Activities

During the month, the WES section completed the delivery of hand pump spare parts and tools for use in areas in Upper Nile. The region also held a training of trainers (ToT) for WES programme activities. Construction of a 20 metre deep hand dug well took place in Kiechkon and hand drilling operations and training in Dablual were completed with two boreholes drilled. Additionally, the UNICEF drilling rig was pulled out of Pulmok after completing 14 successful boreholes equipped with hand pumps and rehabilitation and repair of three boreholes was successfully achieved in Turkana area. A drilling assessment took place in Beneshowa, Upper Nile.

Rumbek

In Rumbek, construction of concrete slab pit latrines took place at the Secondary School in Rumbek town. Thirteen individual pit latrines were also completed in Rumbek and six in Cueibet town. Twenty-six ‘Hygiene Education and Sanitation Messages’ meetings have been held in several payams for a total of about 3,000 people. As well, two meetings were held in Rumbek town to educate the population. Finally in Rumbek, the UNICEF-contracted private drilling contractor has postponed its drilling activities until October due to the wet season. Twenty-six boreholes have been drilled since May in Rumbek.

Yambio

In Yambio, drilling of boreholes continued with one drilled at the UNICEF Base Compound, three drilled in Mambe (Maridi), and three of a planned 12 already drilled in Yambio town and the surrounding area. The construction of hand dug wells also continues with some hand dug wells rehabilitated in Yambio. Two new wells were also dug and equipped with hand pumps at the Catholic Mission and at Atakulu. Those wells are reinforced with concrete rings at the bottom (aquifer) and at the surface to support the concrete platform for the hand pump. Three other wells are still in progress in Nzara and Yambio Payams.

Health education sessions continued in Yambio Town and the community leaders had a meeting on pit latrine construction. In addition, the SRRA Hygiene promoter held meetings in 14 villages and in seven primary schools on issues related to hygiene and behaviour change.

Other types of training are also ongoing in Yambio County, with the Payam’s senior pump mechanic reporting two training sessions on pump mechanics during the month.