Visit of Carol Bellamy to Rumbek
UNICEF Executive Director launches Community Centre in Cueicok
UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, inaugurated the newly built Community Centre in Cueicok Village in Rumbek County on 22 October. She also launched the sub-national national immunization days for Polio in Cheicok Village Community Centre Primary Health Care Unit and over 1,000 children under five years of age were vaccinated.
This Community Center is the first in a UNICEF campaign to build community centers throughout southern Sudan. The Centres such as this one will have a school, a health facility, a source of clean water and sanitation facilities among other basic services provided. Full ownership and maintenance of the Centres will be handed over to the respective communities.
UNICEF-Supported Community School
The classroom constructed for the Cueicok Community Center is called a twin classroom building (known as a prototype school), in which one teacher alone can run an entire school of 100 pupils in one village. The buidling is divided into two classrooms with half wall levels made out of mud bricks produced locally, which serve as a sitting bench for the pupils.
Promotion of Human Rights
Human Rights Promotion Workshop in Rumbek
UNICEF Human Rights Promotion staff in Rumbek, held a three-day Human Rights Awareness Workshop from 4-6 October for students at the Deng Nhial School for Demobilized Child Soldiers in Rumbek County. The participants were introduced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), especially the concepts of protection, provision and participation.
The UNICEF/OLS Chief of Communication and Human Rights Promotion led three of his team members in Rumbek in a meeting with leaders of the SPLM Civil Administration for the Bahr el Ghazal Region. The meeting was held on 4 October. The participants discussed the prospects of launching a wide campaign in the region in order to raise awareness on the need to promote and respect the human rights of civilian populations, especially women and children. The regional leaders expressed their readiness to facilitate the implementation of this campaign in the region.
Meeting with Bahr el Ghazal Youth Development Association
UNICEF / Human Rights Promotion unit in Rumbek held a meeting on 9 October with the Bahr el Ghazal Youth Development Association (BYDA) members in Rumbek. The meeting discussed possibilities of involving the youths in on going human rights awareness education in the area.
The BYDA members agreed to organize the youths to work closely with the program, to ensure that the Youth assume their leading role in advocating for respects and promotion of human rights among their community.
Human Right Activities in Yambio
Two Human Rights workshops were held in Sakure and Bangasu during the month of October focusing on the UDHR and CRC articles. An average of 60 people attended each workshop.
In Sakure, both men and women cited real cases and experiences of historical as well as current events relating to human rights issues. Cases of forced and early marriage were cited by many. The local chief advised and encouraged changes in the attitude and behavior of people within the Sakure community. He emphasized that girls should be sent to school rather than be ‘sold off’ to get money.
Human rights was also incorporated into teachers training courses which will be running until December. A four-hour module on UDHR and CRC is being used. Participants are from different payams in Yambio.
The concepts of human rights and CRC was also introduced in the SRRA communication workshop which drew about 53 participants from Yei, Kajokaji and Maridi counties held in Yambio.
Finally, an evaluation of previous human rights community workshops in Yambio and Nadiangare was done. One of the main concerns was to find out what these communities had learned about the workshops and how the workshop can help to improve or promote human rights in the different communities.
Land Mines Awareness Trainings in Rumbek
From 25 October a UNICEF Consultant for Landmines Awareness conducted several mine awareness workshops for various institutions in Rumbek, including schools and churches. The workshops covered the following topics:
- Identification of Landmine warning signs.
- Landmine awareness and guidance in daily activities in areas affected by Landmines/ UXOs.
- Safety advice for school children on touching objects suspected to be mines or ‘booby-traps’
- Involvement and participation of communities in Mine Action as vital source of information to SIMAS (Sudan Integrated Mine Action Service) the local de-mining NGO working in the area.
Support to Teachers
UNICEF held a meeting with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) members and the local SRRA authorities in the Cueicok Community School, Rumbek County, to brainstorm about how teachers can be supported through community contributions. The community decided to effect changes in the school and expressed willingness to have the local authorities solicit funds to be paid as an incentive to teachers.
A two days workshop was conducted in Akot to explore alternative approaches of supporting teachers. Village communities working through their chiefs accepted to pay school fees per household in the following ways:
- An equivalent of 5 US Dollars (in local currency) yearly;
- 5 cups of grain;
- 5 cups ground nuts;
- construct near the school teachers houses;
- "Akuut kuony thukul" (a Dinka word which means donation to school)
In order to effect implementation of these recommendations, a committee headed by one of the chiefs at the Payam level was to follow up and ensure teachers were getting full support from the community.
School Baseline Assessment (SBA)
Over the past two years, UNICEF has facilitated the assessment of sixty schools in Maridi, Mundri and Yei Counties. Three school assessment officers carried out the assessment. This exercise will help UNICEF to compile data on individual schools in southern Sudan and will also assist all agencies engaged in providing basic primary school education in southern Sudan with concrete information on schools. This will also facilitate better planning of education activities in the area. The School Baseline Assessment (SBA) is a joint project between UNICEF and the Africa Education Trust in London.
Renovation of the Yambio Girls' School will resume very soon. The PTA of the school has agreed to assist in the renovation.
Additionally, UNICEF organized a meeting on girls’ education with all of the NGOs participating in education activities in Yambio County and the County Education Authority in attendance. As a result of the meeting a consultation team was formed and charged with the responsibility of identifying members of the local community, to be comprised primarily of women, to form a County Level Task Force (TF) on Girls' Education. The TF on Girls' Education was to meet on 16th of October to draw up its specific objectives, programs, plan of action and schedule of activities. Also during the meeting, a County Level Policy Statement on girls' education was formulated and has since been passed to the highest authority in the County for endorsement.
Other Education Sector activities
School materials including stationery, textbooks, water paints, manila papers, pens, and teachers’ guides were delivered to the Deng Nhial School for Demobilized Child Soldiers. This is in line with UNICEF’s objective to improve the quality of education and develop children’s creative independent thinking skills.
Five bicycles were donated to the SRRA Education Office by UNICEF in Rumbek. These are to be used by School Supervisors to facilitate their transport.
Teacher Training by Distance
Learning Preparations for the pilot Distance Education programme
are fully underway, with a Distance Learning Center in Yambio County nearly ready for operation. All
of the necessary groundwork has been completed and course writers are expected to visit Yambio in the near future. The November monthly report will feature this new initiative and outline its implementation schedule and potential impact on the education system.
Quarterly Health Coordination Meeting
The quarterly Health Coordination meeting took place on 13-14 October in Nairobi. The meeting focused on Emergency Preparedness and Response, Essential Community Child Health Care, Standardization of Health Worker’s curriculum and Minimum Standards for Health Services (Sphere Guidelines). Dr. Conradin Perner (often referred to by his Sudanese name, Kwacakworo), who worked in southern Sudan for many years, was with the group as a UNICEF consultant and delivered a presentation on the Anyuak Way of Surviving. A selected group of participants in three separate sessions also discussed user fees, women’s status and HIV/AIDS with Kwacakworo.
Immunization and SNIDS
UNICEF held an EPI meeting in Lokichokio on 19 October to discuss emerging issues in immunization. Representatives from NGOs active in immunization were informed about 2001 plans in immunization. Newly printed "Safe Immunization Tips" and "Vaccine Rush" stickers and "Temperature Monitor Sheets" were also introduced. For the first time in OLS history, UNICEF is aiming for 80% coverage in measles (targeting children 9-35 months) and TT (targeting pregnant and childbearing age women). This selective antigen strategy is being communicated to all NGOs through a technical paper prepared by the UNICEF Health section.
UNICEF supported establishment of two new vaccination static points in Cheuicok, Rumbek, and in Yubus, Upper Nile. The reefer in Rumbek is now functional for ice pack production for use in Polio Immunization campaigns. The same type of reefer is also installed in Lokichokio.
Total of 18,000 doses of different antigens (BCG, Measles, DPT and OPV) and 36,000 doses of OPV (for sub-National Immunization Days for Polio (SNIDS) were distributed during October 2000.
In October, UNICEF received 100,000 doses of OPV vaccine from Aventis Pasteur as donation. Aventis Pasteur has donated some 50 million doses of Polio vaccine to five war-torn countries, including Sudan, to cover vaccine needs beginning in June 2000 for a period period of two years.Through this donation, UNICEF OLS will receive 4.32 million doses of OPV for the 2001 National Immunization Days for Polio.
UNICEF OLS also supported the cross border Polio campaign with 20,000 doses of OPV to be used for vaccination at the Lokichokio-Sudan border. The campaign was implemented by the Ministry of Kenya assisted by UNICEF’s Kenya Country Office.
Primary Health Care
UNICEF continued providing Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) kits to counterparts and indigenous NGOs. In October, 124 kits were moved to various locations in southern Sudan. Starting in October, UNICEF took over provision of PHCU kits in Yambio County to support all PHCUs and PHCCs (Primary Health Care Centre). New supplies of PHCU kits are expected to arrive by the end of November.
UNICEF collaborated with the World Health Organization in verification of rumored cases of Ebola in southern Sudan and sent three joint teams to Ikotos, Kajo Keji and Juba-Torit. By the end of October, none of the rumored cases had been verified.
Household Food Security
The Livestock sector has been going through a time of transition during the past few months, as UNICEF phases out of activities usual carried out by sister UN agency the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). After a series of consultations, a Declaration of Intent was signed in Khartoum between UNICEF and FAO facilitating the handover of Household Food Security activities (including agriculture, livestock and fisheries) to FAO as of 15 October. Funds contributed to the UNICEF Livestock Sector during 2000 will continue to be administered and monitored by UNICEF throughout the length of the contribution.
Funding constraints within the programme continue to cause major concern and have hampered ongoing activities. Several meetings were held with stakeholders during the month in order to think strategically about how to raise funds and how to manage with existing contributions.
General Report on Activities During the Month
Operations in Nyamlel, Bahr el Ghazal, were interrupted due to insecurity and frequent evacuations. The vet team relocated to Marial Bai, 20 kms from Nyamlel. Reports received through counterparts indicate that rinderpest vaccination continues.
Activities in Fashoda have begun. A Shilluk veterinarian, Dr. David Adwok, is in Tonga carrying out a needs assessment. He was accompanied by the Tufts University North/South Community-Based animator Dr. George Were. There are approximately 34 vaccinators in the area called ‘Zone 1’, many trained by UNICEF Northern Sector staff. Plans are underway to upgrade these vaccinators to the Community- Based Animal Health Worker level through the provision of further training from the Southern Sector.
Rinderpest vaccination and routine UNICEF project activities continued in Kapoeta County and Thiet. Transport difficulties and rain hampered operations in Kapoeta but drugs and vaccines were delivered. Four Community Animal Health Workers received refresher training. In Thiet, cost recovery exercises and vaccination campaigns have been the main activities with 45,537 cattle vaccinated against rinderpest for the months of September and October.
Monitoring of activities also continued, with the UNICEF Assistant Livestock Officer visiting Entebbe and Arua, Uganda, for meeting with animal specialists and Kaya, Bazi, Yei, Yambio and Rumbek, southern Sudan, for more meetings and disease outbreak investigation.
OLS Livestock Sector Coordination
Drug, vaccine and cold chain equipment support has continued to NGOs and SRRA staff. Monitoring of activities and support wherever possible was also ongoing.
After considerable discussion with VSF-Germany, it was agreed that UNICEF will continue to cover Tonga in Fashoda until early 2001. After that, responsibility for livestock activities in the Fashoda region will be handed over to VSF-Germany.
Number of Cattle Vaccinations Carried out Through October 2000
Water and Environmental Sanitation
Hand drilling activities took place this month in Yabongo (I) and Hai Kuba (III), Yambio County, and in Dablual, Upper Nile.
- A borehole was drilled in Gangura and is waiting development as soon as the gravel packs are made available.
- In the deep drilling program, the twelfth borehole was completed in Bazungua, but completion of the Gangura village borehole has been delayed due to lack of gravel packs. A total of 12 successful boreholes have been achieved out of 14 attempted.
Operation and Maintenance
- One hand pump was reported to be broken and was repaired in Yambio Payam.
- In Lokichokio, UNICEF and the Lokichokio maintenance team repaired one India Mark II hand pump in Lokichokio town and one Duba pump in Nanam village.
- The SRRA WES counterpart team in Yambio repaired four broken hand pumps.
- The counterpart team rehabilitated two platforms - one on a hand-dug well and another on a borehole.
- The County development committee, counterparts and UNICEF held formal meeting on formulation of policy for the maintenance of water points. The policy has already been developed; the purpose of which is to govern the Operation and Maintenance of the installed system.
Rehabilitation of Existing Water Points
- A total of eight broken hand pumps were repaired, three in Rumbek town, one in Malice, two in Akita and two in Pacing Payee.
- Shallow well rehabilitation works at Pacong village, Rumbek, came to a halt due to a mechanical problem, which affected the de-watering pump at the site.
- One Hand Dug Well platform construction in Dangiri Sufu was reported to be finished and required change of IMK2 hand pump. The Gangura hand pump is to be rehabilitated
- UNICEF WES section is training three hand pump mechanics from the counterpart SRRA WES section how to operate a compressor to flush and rehabilitate boreholes.
- Training of Trainers for Hygiene Promoters took place in Pulmok, Upper Nile, for 15 people.
- A Village Level Caretakers training was held. Eight people were trained in Nzara Payam to take care of the four hand pumps in Basukangbi.
- The SRRA WES counterpart team trained eight Village Level Caretakers in Basukangbi village. The caretakers will be responsible for four hand pumps.
Hygiene and Sanitation
- Pit latrine construction works in Cueicok Village Community Centre was reported to be in progress. The pit latrine slabs are under casting and soon the superstructure works will be started under the technical supervision of UNICEF. Construction of another pit latrine will soon be started at Deng Nhial School for Demobilized Child Solders. UNICEF has supported the school with digging tools. UNICEF, together with SRRA WES will continue to provide the needed technical support.
- Hygiene Education awareness sessions were held in 13 villages in Yambio Payam with a total of 975 people attending. Personal hygiene, hand washing and handling of children’s stools were some of the issues discussed at the sessions.
- UNICEF support to counterparts for improved sanitation is continuing. A project to construct a public pit latrine at the Rumbek airstrip was started and UNICEF is providing technical support while the implementation is being carried out by the counterpart.
- SRRA WES reportedly conducted a hygiene awareness training in Rumbek town, Malek and Pachong Payams.
Update on the Situation of IDPs
The situation in Western Upper Nile still remains a high priority. Fighting between the SPDF/ GOS and SPLA has disrupted the livelihood of thousands of households and forced them to be displaced internally within Western Upper Nile and cross clan boundaries to Eastern Bahr el Ghazal.
A joint OLS assessment was carried out to verify the reported IDP figures and their condition in Aweng and Ajackkuac Payams of Twic County and Toc Payam of Gogrial County. The Assessment team was unable to visit the IDPs in Wuncuei, Tonj County, due to poor weather.
Teams confirmed the presence of new arrivals of IDPs in the locations visited but not of the magnitude initially reported. It was confirmed that the majority of IDPs who had come to Mayenjur had returned to Western Upper Nile.
WFP carried out food distribution in all the locations while UNICEF provided four PHCU kits to Aweng, Ajackkuac and Maper PHCUs as a stopgap measure. Distribution of fishing hooks and twine was carried out to the IDPs and the host community in Ajackkuach to make the most of the potential for fishing. After the team’s visit, it was reported that more IDPs had fled to Mayenjur in Toc Payam.
Food and non-food interventions were carried out in Rier for the IDPs and victims of the war.
A report has also been received about a displacement of the population from Koch after the recent fighting to Nimni and Thonyor. A combined intervention and assessment is planned for these locations.
459 IDP kits were distributed to the Nuer IDPs in Rumbek Town.
More IDPs were reported in Akop, Wuncuei and Abuong in Tonj County. Food was distributed to the 2,700 IDPs in Wuncuei. It has not been possible to verify the reported 4,477 IDPs in Abuong due to access problems.