BENTIU, OCTOBER 24, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – Authorities in Mayendit County of South Sudan’s Unity State are coping with shortage of drugs with the county health director John Gatwech telling Sudans Post that patients are in dire conditions.
“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) who are supporting the health facilities here through the International Medical Corps (IMC) had told us to deliver drugs in August,” Gatwech told Sudans Post yesterday.
“We, the local authorities, raised concerns about shortage of drug supplies in the entire Mayendit County including in Tutnyang, Thaker and Rubkuai primary care centers. All our community needs drugs because they run out of drugs, and our community is really suffering,” he stated.
Local resident of Mayendit County Haak Khor Liah voiced the same concern and appealed to the (IMC) to urgently intervene and help the locals.
“We are requesting International Medical Corp (IMC) to come to support us now with drug supplies which are missing. We are going to die if the government is not putting our issues on the first agenda,” he added.
Haak who was speaking to Sudans Post in Rubkuai said that residents in the place he live does not have the energy to travel all along to Mayendit.
“We are going to die if the government is not putting our issues on the first agenda,” he stated.
RETURNEES LACK SAFE DRINKING WATER
Sudans Post also spoke to several returnees who said they came from Sudan where conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions. There are currently at least 1014 returnees at Rubkuai. They said they left Sudan in April when the war begun and arrived in Mayendit County between May and July.
“Since arriving, we returnees have been grappling with water scarcity in Rubkuai Payam,” Kina Riek Gatluak, a returnee told Sudans Post. “From June until now, we have not had access to safe drinking water. We continue to lodge complaints with the government of Unity State and UN agencies, urging them to provide us with clean drinking water.”
Gai Deng, another returnee who also came from Sudan, said due to scarcity of safe drinking water, many people have resorted to drinking the dirty water from the swamp, which he said has contributed to outbreak of infections in Mayendit County.
“The returnees are facing various water-borne diseases such as diarrhea as a result of the shortage of clean drinking water,” he said. “Our people always fight at the few safe water points in Rubkuai Payam because the boreholes are not enough for us.”
When contacted by Sudans Post, Mayendit County Director of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) Matthew Ran, said there are over 1000 returnees located at Rubkuai Payam only and who he said do not have safe drinking water and that Samaritan Purse International Relief is partnering with his institution to address the water issue.
“We urge Samaritan’s Purse to continue providing the community with boreholes to improve the quality of life. 15 boreholes are not enough for our population, including the new arrivals, the returnees,” Mathew stated.
Rubkuai and Tutnyang are among several other Payams facing water crisis in Mayendit County and Samaritan Purse International is the only humanitarian organization that is helping the locals in drilling boreholes.