Chiefs from aweil east state posed for a group photo [Gurtong photo]
By Agoth Abraham
AWEIL, 24 August 2016 [Gurtong] - Among the issues discussed incudes the prevailing hunger in the State, health issues among others.
The Chiefs’ Representative, Peter Makuach Makuach expressed the extent at which the communitiesare being affected by hunger in the State.
He urged the Governor to include chiefs in the distribution of humanitarian assistance to ensure that the relief food reaches the rightful people.
“Our people are severely suffering simply because of hunger and diseases. During the war between Sudan and South Sudan, chiefs were involved in organizing the people so that every vulnerable person gets their share. We call upon the Governor to consider us because we are the ones who know the weak people in the villages,” he said.
Chief Makuach also appealed to the Governor to consider quickening the mass distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
“We heard nets were brought and were not distributed to the people. Why? It is not good this is the right time to protect the people from Malaria because mosquitoes are the cause of malaria,” he said.
Akuei appreciated the role the chiefs play in assisting the government in governing the State.
“Chiefs in our government at all levels are playing a very important contribution in governances of the Republic of South Sudan. The foods and bulls we took to people of Lol State were voluntarily paid by chiefs in these hot economic challenges,” he said.
In response to issues raised by chiefs in the meeting, Governor Deng acknowledged the issues and promised to manage them in his capacity.
“I want to assure you that WFP in Aweil State is not only for Aweil people but for former State of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. No one in my government will accept the mess we heard in Aweil State. Chiefs will be represented in the system if necessary” he said.
Governor Deng said that theRelief and Rehabilitation Commission must make sure that they are organized when distributing relief food.
He warned that any corrupt practices will be dealt with.
“My office is near the warehouse, I know how things are going on here. I see them. The people who were intended to get assistance were not getting anything due to disorganized work, we will not allow this to repeat itself in Aweil State. Things should be done in a better way in this next distribution,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Minister of Education who is also the acting Minister of Health, Hon. William Ater Lual noted with concern the increase of malaria cases in the State.
William who touredhealth facilities in the State said that lack of mosquito nets has contributed to the increase of malaria.
“I visited some health centers and units in the State in my capacity as Acting Minister of Health, what I experienced is touching, a lot of people especially women and children are affected by Malaria. One of the cases I found was of a little girl at Lieth Primary health care center. She is severely affected by high fever and was brought to Malualkhon Hospital and the case was confirmed to be Malaria,” he said.
Minister Ater responded to the chiefs concern on the delay of mosquito nets by saying that the distribution will be done within the course of this month adding that the delay was caused by the recent conflict in Juba.
“My Ministry has been trying very hard to talk to the Malaria Consortium which was given the responsibility of distribution but due to the recent conflict in Juba on July 2016, all heads of organizations were evacuated to Uganda, But finally there is an agreement reached between the Ministry of Health and the Malaria Consortium to distribute nets within this month” he said.
Minister Ater said that once the nets are distributed there will be a reduction in malaria cases reported in the State.