Sudan

Unicef Operations in south Sudan Monthly Report Sep 2000

Deng Nhial School, Rumbek Enthusiasm and Initiative Spark Growth
UNICEF support continues to the Deng Nhial School for demobilized child soldiers. In support of educational activities, materials, including text books and exercise books, were given to the school this month. In addition, watercolour paints were donated in an effort to foster creative activities. A small painting competition has been organized, centered on how the children visualize their future. Two bicycles were also handed over to the school to support activities.

Following consultations between the schools administration and the local county health officer, it was agreed that there was an urgent need for a clinic on the campus, or access to the local health facility, to tend to everyday illnesses and injuries. UNICEF has stepped in to help establish a small first aid post that is dealing with these day to day maladies.

The school community is also scheduled to be provided with a water point. The point has recently been identified. The students are currently engaged in digging of pit latrines for school use.

Of particular interest, is the food supply in the school. With the assistance of WFP, cereals, pulses, oil and salt has been provided on a short-term basis as a food-for-work initiative. This food will act as a stopgap measure as the students work on various methods of supporting their food needs. One teacher and three students were put through a household food security workshop conducted in Rumbek and have been provided with seeds. Additionally, two bulls from the school have been trained in pulling an ox cart. The students are also attempting to supply not only their own needs, but also to produce surplus in order to provide some income for the school.

At the inauguration of the food-for-work programme the local Commissioner spoke to the children. He emphasized that he wanted to see the students become self reliant through growing and cultivating their own food. The students responded by confirming their commitment to work hard to make the school a self-sufficient and successful learning environment. Evidence of their commitment is obvious. They have filled up stagnant pools of water, cleared brush and shrubbery around the school and started burning neem leaves and dried cow dung to battle mosquitoes at night. Their enthusiasm and initiative has sparked growth and momentum in both the school as well as the surrounding community.

Promotion of Human Rights

Human Rights Manual

The human rights manual that the Rights Awareness Teams will use to run their community workshops was completed during September. The manual can now be laid out in a user-friendly format, printed and distributed. UNICEF plans to share the manual with a wide range of partners. UNICEF staff will also be available to train NGOs on how to use the manual to add sessions on human rights to their standard training workshops.

Dissemination Activities

In addition to the work of the Rights Awareness Teams during the month, UNICEF field officers organized several dissemination events. In Rumbek, the field officer presented a human rights awareness workshop to the child soldiers at the Deng Nhial School. He also facilitated a four-day session on human rights at a workshop organized by the New Sudan Council of Churches. In Yambio, one of the members of the Rights Awareness Team served as a facilitator for a Head-Teachers' training. Because of the skills he had gained as part of the Rights Awareness Team, he was able to incorporate human rights and children's rights issues into the curriculum. The UNICEF field officer has also been working with ADRA to include human rights issues in an upcoming three-month teacher training course in Yambio County.

Other Programme Activities

The Yambio youth group, called The Future Searchers, continued to make progress on their Youth Millenium Project during September. The UNICEF field officer participates in the group's weekly meetings, discussing one article from the Convention on the Rights of the Child each week. The Yambio-based field officer participated in a training for facilitators workshop in Lokichokio and also served on the facilitation team for the Cultural Orientation Workshop organized by the OLS Consortium Unit. Finally, UNICEF welcomed a new Sudanese staff member in September, Mr. Monyluak Kuol. Mr. Kuol previously worked with UNICEF's humanitarian principles department and will now be working on the Human Rights Promotion project. He will be based in Rumbek.

Rights Training Prevents 'Cruel' Punishment

The Rights Awareness Teams conducted three workshops during September in Nadiangare and Sakure payams of Yambio County and in Pacuong payam of Rumbek County. Each workshop was attended by an average of 65 people.

The Pacuong workshop coincided with a local court case that gave the workshop participants the opportunity to demonstrate their new understanding of human rights. When the court proposed a sentence of lashing and a fine, one of the workshop participants objected to the sentence on the basis that lashing constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Traditional courts routinely consider the opinions of community members, and in this case the lashing was not inflicted on the criminal due to the intervention of the participant from the human rights workshop. In addition, the participants suggested as part of their action plan to improve human rights that girls and orphans be exempted from school fees in order to encourage their full participation in education.

The participants also recommended that local authorities adopt the "first call for children" principle, requiring leaders to give priority to children's needs when allocating resources. Despite these positive signs, many issues remain to be tackled, particularly regarding early marriage of girls because of the economic value of their bridewealth.

Education

Rumbek Schools During September, education activities in Rumbek were concentrated mostly on strengthening the local educational structure and supporting the Deng Nhial School of demobilized child soldiers as well as a new school in Cuecok.

School materials such as stationery, text books, water paints, manila papers, pens, and teacher's guides were delivered to the Deng Nhial School and various extra curriculer activities will be introduced to provide pupils with creative stimulation.

A prototype of a "village school" is being constructed in Cueicok as a part of the new community center being supported by UNICEF. The school will have over 100 pupils. A meeting was organized with the parents, teachers and local authorities to seek how best teachers can be supported through community contributions. The community agreed to make changes in the school and expressed a willingness to have the local authorities solicit funds to be paid as incentives to teachers. A meeting was also held with the head teacher and the teachers of the Cueicok school to introduce the concept of child-friendly school and the school environmental activities.

Also during September, a one-day meeting was organized with seven payam school supervisors and the county SRRA Education Coordinator to plan educational activities. The county education office received five bicycles from UNICEF to be used by school supervisors to facilitate their transportation during school visitations. This will help the central office to carry out school supervision and improve the quality and regularity of concrete statistics to help in planning of activities.

School Supplies

In the month of September, 1.5 tons of educational support materials were shipped to various locations in southern Sudan from Lokichokio.

Training for Head-Teachers

A training of Head Teachers took place in Yambio, with 61 people participating, of which 19 were female. The training, organized by local education authorities and supported by ADRA and UNICEF was part of UNICEF's focus on promoting qualified women within the educational structure.

Thanks to active advocacy with the education authorities, these women were included in the training to build their managerial capacities for eventual upgrading into the school headship. There are currently no female Head Teachers in Yambio County.

The Head Teachers' course is to be followed by a three-month training for 60 participants, of which at least 20 will be female trainees. Among these were Headmasters kits donated by the African Education Trust under the on-going joint AET/UNICEF project. The Headmaster's kits will be given to the schools rated as best by the project's school assessors.

Emergency response

50 emergency kits were assembled in Lokichokio for distribution in Upper Nile locations. Of this number, 10 kits and blackboards have been prepared in readiness for an airlift to Rier and Keriarin in Western Upper Nile. UNCIEF's newly appointed Education Assistant Project Officer for Upper Nile is continuing assessment visits to the region. So far she has traveled to Nyal and Paboung districts.

Health

Disease outbreaks During September, UNICEF collaborated with WHO to respond reported measles outbreaks in Latjor state, Upper Nile. Mass vaccination was conducted in Yubus, Uddier and Mading, and 12,000 children were vaccinated against measles. UNICEF provided all supplies and organized the flights.

PHC Support

Provision of PHC kits to counterparts continued, with emphasis being given to gap areas where no NGO was on ground. A total of 84 PHC kits were moved to different locations leaving a balance of 54 at the end of September. New supplies are expected to arrive in Nairobi at the end of October.

UNICEF also provided emergency health kits through RASS in Yubus, Latjor Sate, Upper Nile, for malaria and diarrhea treatment in the area.

UNICEF in agreement with SRRA, will begin to support PHC facilities in Yambio County. PHC kits will be distributed to all PHC facilities in October.

SNIDs

Subnational Immunization Days for Polio were conducted in Eastern and Western Equatoria, covering Kajo Keji, Kapoeta, Yei, Torit, Juba, Yambio, Tambura, Maridi and Mundri. A total of 150,000 children were targeted to be vaccinated from 18-22 September.

Training

UNICEF, in coordination with WHO and CCM, discussed follow-up issues in essential community health care training. Plans are being developed to cover all health workers in Rumbek, Yambio, Shilluk and Nyanyjar.

EPI

"Safe Immunization Tips" stickers were printed and are to be placed on the door of each refrigerator in southern Sudan. Special stickers were also printed for cold boxes to indicate vaccine in order to remind cargo handlers of the safety measures regarding temperatures. Newly developed "monthly temperature monitor recording charts" have also been printed for further distribution to EPI partners in the field. New charts are expected to be distributed after a short introductory meeting in Lokichokio with all NGOs involved in immunization activities.

Health Coordination Meeting

Quarterly Health Coordination meeting is scheduled to take place during 12-13 October at the Holiday Inn, Nairobi.

Planning/ Monitoring and Evaluation

During September, the Planning/Monitoring and Evaluation section was engaged in various support activities. Included in this was consolidation and initial editing of the UNICEF non-food contributions to the Annual Needs Assessment. This work has been shared with the UNICEF office in Khartoum and will contribute significantly to the final document. The section has also contributed to discussions regarding the 2001 United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan.

Throughout the month, assistance was provided to programmes. The section assisted with the finalization of the Southern Sudan 1997-1999 Nutrition Report being prepared by a UNICEF consultant. The section also produced maps showing possible airboat bases as well as maps showing river and road access routes for using in reaching populations in need.

Ongoing analysis of UNICEF's Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) also took place. The report of that activity is in its final stages of production.

Household Food Security

Livestock Activities

General Activities

All NGOs working in livestock activities reported operations as normal throughout the month. Two NGOs expressed interest in starting operations in the livestock sector - Oxfam-Quebec and Action Against Hunger. The Bira rinderpest outbreak report was investigated and found to be negative (suspected CBPP and trypanosomiasis).

During the month, three more rumours of rinderpest outbreaks were reported " in Wuncuie, Ajiep and Akot. All three were investigated by the emergency epidemiologist and proved negative. The emergency veterinary supplies to cater for any influx of IDPs from northern Bahr el Ghazal and western Upper Nile are being sent to VSF-Belgium from Rumbek for use amongst IDPs in Marial Lou. Severe funding shortages are being experienced in the sector and a significant change in mode of operation may be necessary next year unless the funding situation improves.

UNICEF-Specific Activities

The UNICEF outbreak epidemiologist assisted VSF-Belgium in carrying out refresher training of animal health auxiliaries in Ganyliel.

The livestock program at Naita in Kapoeta County has been restarted with rinderpest vaccination.

In Thiet, the rinderpest vaccination campaign is in progress and routine treatments are continuing. More than 1.2 million Sudanese Pounds in lost cost recovery funds have been recovered following the arrest of several defaulters.

Operations in Nyamlel were interrupted due to insecurity and frequent evacuations. Some monitoring activities in neighbouring areas were carried out.

Project plans and budgets for 2001 have been drafted. Bearing in mind likely financial constraints, a reduced emergency operation budget and plan have been drafted.

ECHO flight support for Fashoda and Upper Nile was approved and recruitment and purchase of supplies for the Fashoda region was initiated.

OLS Livestock Sector Coordination Drug, vaccine and cold chain equipment support has continued to NGOs and SRRA staff.

A joint meeting with NGOs and PACE identified and drafted the Annual Needs Analysis for the livestock sector. The needs for each region were prioritized with highest priority being given to the control and eradication of rinderpest, followed by strengthening community-based disease surveillance and control through increasing community ownership by training and increased support to privatizing veterinary service delivery.

Emergency preparedness and response mechanisms in the livestock sector were reviewed, but it was determined that capacity should remain the same as last year (i.e. maintain emergency stocks and ability to cover 100,000 cattle).

In discussions with VSF-Germany it was agreed that UNICEF should cover the Tonga area of Fashoda while VSF-Germany would look for funds to cover Aburoc and Oriny.

Discussions were held with the SRRA Veterinary Coordinator, to discuss present needs and future strategies.

While many NGOs were complaining of reduced funding levels, VSF-Belgium have again received Dutch funding for the training of Animal health auxiliaries a very important achievement for all of the NGOs in the sector and for the future sustainability of the livestock programme.

UNICEF Staff Member Returns from Northern Sector

As part of the UNICEF/OLS-Tufts University contract, UNICEF staff member, Dr. George Were, the Community- based Animal Health Services Technical Advisor, is under assignment to give technical support equally to both the northern and southern sectors. While in the north, he works with each of the four UNICEF field-based veterinarians to help them boost their respective capacities in areas of community dialogue, participatory problems analysis, development of social contracts, training of Community Animal Health Workers [CAHWs] and setting up systems to more effectively render services to areas inaccessible to conventional veterinary practices. He also helps to identify border areas that do not receive services from the north or south.

Through Livestock Development Committees [LDC] now in place in each of the four northern UNICEF sub-office locations, he extends technical support to various livestock NGOs and agencies as well.

From June-August 2000, Dr. Were was in the northern sector working with the field veterinarians in the government controlled areas within southern Sudan. Areas visited were Malakal, Juba and El Fula.

Juba and the surrounding areas witnessed a massive outbreak of East Coast Fever [ECF]. This is a highly fatal tick-borne disease introduced in recent years from Uganda. Outbreak proportions are reached during the long rains. With extremely high mortality rates among yearlings, there was panic; the future herd was threatened. Rinderpest, the main focus of attention in Equatoria became secondary in the minds of the farmers. As a quick stopgap, UNICEF rushed in tick-grease. Urgent contacts were also made with the Muguga veterinary research laboratory in Kenya to explore ways of getting the ECF vaccine. The long-term remedy to this problem is a comprehensive community-based tick control programme and a vaccination regime among yearlings. This is quite a challenge in these prevailing conditions of conflict but not impossible to achieve through the community-based initiatives. The main aim is to appropriately address ECF issue. It is a big barrier in the path of the rinderpest eradication efforts in Equatoria.

Field access from the garrison towns of Juba and Malakal is a constant challenge. Movement of veterinary staff in and out of these garrisons is at times inconsistent due to permit and transport issues. This adversely affects delivery of services.

Dr. Were is now in the Southern Sector looking to consistently apply livestock methodologies and continue coordination work.

Water and Environmental Sanitation

Training

A two-week training workshop for Pump Mechanics was held in Pulmok, Upper Nile. Meanwhile in Rumbek, a seven-day Training of Trainers course for Village Level Caretakers (VLCTs) and for Community Based Hygiene Educators /Motivators was completed. Two of the eight Hygiene Educators that attended the TOT training course were women. Nine Pump mechanics also attended a Training of Trainers for Village Level Pump Caretakers and 200 persons (women, men and children) attended a hygiene education session. The education session was conducted by a counterpart staff member that had attended a 14-day UNICEF-organised workshop on hygiene promotion. In Yambio, a five-day village Hygiene & Sanitation promotion workshop took place in Sakure Payam. The workshop trained 20 participants. Yambio was also the site of another hygiene and sanitation health session attended by 169 people in Nabiapai Payam. Five villages were represented in the workshop that covered topics such as safe human disposal of excreta and provision and safe storage of clean water. Finally, health education training was held in two primary schools in Yambio Payam for 188 pupils and 18 teachers.

Hygiene and Sanitation

In Yambio, pit latrine digging took place at the Yabua Primary School, the Yabua Centre, two RCC centres and Maingbangaru Primary School. It was also reported that a total of 216 family latrines were newly constructed in Rumbek and that all of the latrines were being put to use.

Creation and Maintenance of Water Points

  • Two boreholes were successfully drilled in Natinga. The Contractor (WWR) is preparing to finish two remaining bore-holes in the Turkana area.
  • In Upper Nile, the hand drilling programme in Dablual was put on stand-by due to security problems during the two first weeks of the month. The programme restarted once the situation was back to normal.
  • Also in Upper Nile, the hand drilling assessment in Beneshowa (Central Upper Nile) took place. Five boreholes are scheduled to be drilled.
  • One hand dug well was created in Pacong Payam and is now at 20m. The digging team will continue until it reaches 24m.
  • Deep drilling works took place at the Yambio Girls Primary School. Drilling works have now commenced in Yabongo Primary School in Yambio Payam.
  • One well was dug in Yambio surroundings and struck water at 18 m. Installation of reinforced concrete rings took place to prevent the walls collapsing.
  • Deep Drilling took place at Yabong Primary School and was completed successfully. In Hai Napere (III), Yambio Payam, a well was completed and installed with a IMK2 hand pump. The yield of the well is measured to be 1.26 m3/hour and will benefit a population of about 60 households.

Rehabilitation

  • In Lokichokio, rehabilitation took place for an extra deep hand pump (cylinder at 42 m.) at Lopiding. There are now three hand pumps functioning at Lopiding.
  • In Rumbek, three broken IMK2 hand pump at ECS Church compound, Malakia and Meen - Atol in Rumbek town were repaired by UNICEF-supported counterpart staff.
  • Also in Rumbek, rehabilitation works took place on a hand dug well near a market in Pachong and rehabilitation was completed of the platform of Atermajing village hand pump. Some local materials are already mobilized to start nother platform rehabilitation in Makembele Village.
  • Eight hand pumps were repaired by the UNICEF-supported counterpart WES team in Rumbek (2 hand pumps in Akot Payam, 3 in Wulu Payam and 3 in Malek Payam)
  • Two boreholes with fallen pipes and rods were fished and are now functioning in Cueicok village and in the SRRA WES compound in Rumbek Town.
  • In Yambio, one hand pump in Nzara Payam had the head assemblage changed by the pump mechanics.
  • The Hai Kokora, Yambio, hand drilled well is now functioning with a yield of 20 litres/minute and serves a community of about 800 people.
  • One hand pump handle was changed in Nzara Payam.
  • One borehole was flushed at Hamia in Yambio Payam and the Kor Tank protected spring was rehabilitated.

Community Mobilization

The SRRA Water and Sanitation team was reported to have carried out community mobilisation and awareness campaigns in Rumbek town. During the campaigns, two water point committees were formed.

In addition to that, the Water and Sanitation counterpart was reported to have conducted a mobilisation and sensitisation activity in order to form committees at water points. A total of eight water point committees were formed.

Village level care-takers (VLCTs) have been selected for better management of water points by community members to be responsible for seven hand pumps. Finally, Sensitisation and Community mobilisation in Rumbek Payam has been carried out and resulted in the formation of six Village Water Committees and in the identification of 12VLCTs.