Polish Humanitarian Action Mission in South Sudan has been implementing emergency response in Jonglei state, the most troubled state of South Sudan. Jonglei state has a great number of victims of inter-communal violence, natural disasters and fighting between government and non-state actors since 2011. It is in this context that the Emergency Response Team (ERT) has gone to the field to respond to situation.

Verification centre: where after being verified, the household head puts a finger print on the registration form and on the token, which helps the distribution team to identify individuals who have already received WASH/ NFI kits. Photo: PAH

The joint WASH and NFI intervention in Pibor Town for 5377 households (7438 individuals) from Pibor and the surrounding villages started on Monday, 21st October, 2013. PAH is working collectively with partners like IOM, Intersos, Oxfam and LWF to assist each household with a set of WASH NFIs (collapsible jerry can, bucket, 2 bar soaps, half a box of water purification flocks PuR and filter cloth), which will secure access to clean drinking water for at least 1 month and NFIs (plastic sheet, blanket, double mosquito net, kanga and cooking set), which will allow beneficiaries to restore their households.

The distribution site is divided into four areas: 

1. Calling centre: where the names are called according to the registration lists prepared by IOM during registration process, when the tokens have been distributed.
2. Verification centre: where after being verified, the household head puts a finger print on the registration form and on the token, which helps the distribution team to identify individuals who have already received WASH/ NFI kits. This exercise also helps in accounting for the number of NFI kits distributed.
3. Demonstration centre: where PAH trains local people to be able to use PuR and filter cloth to the beneficiaries queuing for distribution. PAH Hygiene and Sanitation Officers will be present at the demonstration centre to oversee the whole exercise, with the local trained people explaining the process in the local dialect or in Juba Arabic. 
4. Receiving centre, where the beneficiaries present their token/IOM card labelled with PAH/IOM logo and with finger prints as prove the beneficiary is entitled to receive WASH/ NFIs. The tokens are collected at the point of distribution and tallied up at the end of each day to ascertain the number of beneficiaries served.

Photo: PAH

The distribution will last at least 2 weeks, and PAH has dedicated all 9 members of its Emergency Response Team for this activity: 5 WASH Technicians, 1 WASH Tech Assistant, 3 Hygiene and Sanitation Officers and 1 Community Liaison Officer. The 9 members of the Emergency Response Team plan to remain in Pibor Town after the distribution to ensure the boreholes are functional, and until hygiene and sanitation situation of the Town inhabitants improve.

Photo: PAH

Pibor County, one of Jonglei State counties, has been troubled with ethnic conflicts, cattle raids, fights between NSAA (non-state armed actors) and SPLA (Sudanese People Liberation Army) causing massive displacement since January 2011. Currently approx. 150 000 inhabitants of Pibor County have been affected by the on-going conflict. They have fled their villages and towns, seeking more secure environment in the swampy grounds, outside the county or even outside of the country. According to OCHA, some 6600 people fled to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, 4000 refugees fled to Uganda and about 16 000 – to Ethiopia in the recent months. 

Since May 2013, Pibor Town has been largely deserted by civilians following patterns of abuse and killings by SPLA. A small group of civilians have remained within the County Commissioner’s compound, and were asked in July/August to move out and construct ‘tukuls’ in the town, resulting in some small scale construction within the perimeter of the barracks (which encompasses a large section of the town). With approx. 600 civilians in Pibor Town by August, 2013, the number of population has increased and is currently estimated to be above 2000 people. No major security incidents have been noted within the last four weeks. However, it is not recommended to leave the Town without armed escort. The market has begun to regenerate in a very limited way with some traders sending commercial flights in town. Civilians have been seen moving into the town and market area during the day, before returning to safety in the bush during the night, with an increasing number remaining in town. Thus, the population needs humanitarian assistance to restore their basic living conditions, as majority of them lost all their belongings. Despite the facts that there are boreholes providing clean water in Pibor Town, the residents are still not willing to stay in the town, as they still feel insecure.

The project “WASH and EP&R in the most vulnerable areas in South Sudan” is financed by the European Commission.