May Edition of the People’s Voice Print

frontpageWelcome to the fifth edition of the People’s Voice. Like the previous issues, this edition brings you the views and concerns of the ordinary people of South Sudan.

On SPLM day, as Southerners celebrated the organization that brought them independence from the north, our seasoned reporter Agele Benson Amos asked people what they now wanted from the SPLM, now that the priority has shifted from liberation to state-building.

We hear from thirsty residents in the sleepy village of Abyei Cok in Rumbek, where the villagers are forced to drink dirty water for survival. The only source of water here – an old well – has to serve 596 families, together with their livestock. We listen to their complaints about government inaction.

Agricultural issues are also looked into. Our reporters talk to Yei farmers who say that their bumper food crop harvests are not only going to waste but also, that they have nothing to show from their efforts. It is ironic that while most residents of the dry parts of South Sudan starve, crops from this region rot in farms due to poor roads and lack of modern storage facilities. In addition, we bring you a report on the difficulties and frustrations faced by beekeepers in Yambio County, as they describe how only a little government interest could make such a difference to the economy of their area.

Our correspondent from Jonglei, John Actually, takes a closer into one of the most worrying issues affecting the future of our children and thereby the future of South Sudan; the terrible state of the education sector.

The importance of the media being free to highlight issues such as those included in this edition cannot be overstated. Press freedom is a fundamental principle of democratic societies. The 3 May was World Press Freedom Day and, in our fledgling state of South Sudan; journalists, government officials, and representatives from NGOs, gathered in a small hotel room to join the rest of the world in marking this important occasion. We bring you a report from that event where Mr Luka Biong, the Director General in the Ministry of Information, called on UJOSS to keep on pressing and reminding the government of its obligations to its people and he cited the ‘The People’s Voice’ as a true living case of press freedom and UJOSS’s efforts to help the government understand ordinary people's concerns.

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