Some youth members and a women representative welcomed the initiative, while asking for more support.
“I am giving you ‘thank you’,” said Maker Mayual, unable to contain his excitement. “Water is life. This is great, thanks to UN and the community of Manyang-Ngok. I thank them, and I thank God for bringing UNMISS and water,” he said, concluding his stream of gratitude.
Another resident, Ajak Akot, thanked UNMISS for providing water, but took the opportunity to raise other matters of concern, especially those affecting women.
“Now the distance walked in search of water is solved, but women dying during giving birth is not yet over,” she noted.
Absence of clean drinking water has often resulted in confrontations between the communities of Akot Madut and Atoong villages in Chuei-chok.
The forty-thousand-dollar ($40,000) project will hopefully reduce that, while also significantly reducing the risks of violence against women and girls who will no longer have to walk long distances in search of clean water.
The project will be implemented by the Community Initiative for Development Agency – CIDA, whose Executive Director, Gabriel Pap Nyok, asked community members to remain peaceful and support the drilling process.
“In the implementation process, especially the last stage, really needs our commitment,” he said. “That commitment should not only be from UNMISS and CIDA, but from you, too, [as the benefitting community]. We committed ourselves during the designing of the proposal that we would maintain the stability in the area so that the drilling can go on without disruption,” he noted.
UNMISS head of Kuajok field office Anastasie Nyirigira said that while serving to diminish water-related conflicts, the project would also ensure that all internally displaced persons in the area have a chance to access clean drinking water.
“The project is intended to create a conducive environment for peaceful coexistence between the host community, returnees and the IDPs [internally displaced persons] from Manyang-Ngok centre, who fled to Buot in Chuei-Chok,” she said.
“The project will also enhance gender protection which is the area government’s priority,” she added, referring to the reduced necessity for women to walk long distances in search of clean water.
Tonj Governor Mathew Mathiang Magoordit thanked UNMISS and CIDA for their partnership and assistance to the community of Manyang-Ngok county. He vowed to cooperate with UNMISS during his tenure as governor.
“I am happy and grateful to UNMISS,” he said, noting, “You have helped the community by providing water and my state administration will fully cooperate with you. I’m committed to work with UNMISS so that stability is secure.”