Women of the Bongo tribe in the Aguka district of Tonj County have been craving a marketplace for years and their wishes have been granted. Thanks to a series of construction projects, they now have a brand new building to accommodate one.
At the inaugural ceremony of the building, financed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the women demonstrated their happiness through singing, dancing and openly voicing their appreciation.
Mary Michael, a honey and vegetable farmer from the community, said the market will help her and many others improve their economic situation by supplementing their disposable incomes. “With this market, we will be able to solve our daily problems,” she said.
Sarah Kamsin, another community member, said that the facility would also help boost local trade. “The marketplace will allow us to bring in goods like tomatoes, okra, cassava, and greens,” she explained with a big smile.
The head of the peacekeeping mission’s Field Office in Kuajok, Anastasie Nyirigira Mukangarambe, expressed her satisfaction with the result of the projects, saying “they’re a great step toward reducing the financial burdens of the local government.”
The funding also made it possible to drill two boreholes in Chuei-chok Payam in Mayang Nogk County, Tonj.
“Before, there had been many complaints about having to travel long distances to access potable water,” Ms. Mukangarambe said. “These two new water points serve not only to promote the well-being of the community but also to help prevent conflict through creating stability.”
Tonj Governor Matthew Mathiang Magordit showed appreciation to the mission for the projects and promised to work harder to ensure that the communities continued to develop.
“The primary concern of this administration now is to work with UNMISS and other partners so that the cycle of cattle raids and revenge attacks in Tonj comes to an end and peace and stability can flourish,” he said.
The projects were implemented in partnership with a local NGO, the Community Initiative Development Agency, at a cost of $77,014.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).