Mugwo Community Feels Neglected By Government Print

MugwoBy Alfred Taban

Residents of Mugwo Payam in Southern Sudan’s Yei River County are a disgruntled lot. They feel neglected by the government following deteriorating standards of living occasioned by poor provision of social services.

The villagers, most of whom are victims of Sudan’s prolonged civil war said they lack good roads, health facilities, provision of clean water and schools. They are now crying out to the government to come to their rescue.

Kiden Leya Asu, a 75 year old widow, and a mother of three children, is one of the many locals bearing the brunt of the lack of facilities. Asu who lives in Ombaci village stays with her brother after her husband died while in exile during the war. She has to walk several kilometers in search of water and health facilities. “The government is not doing enough to serve the people with all the services they need. The people here are neglected. There are no health centers. There are no good roads and bridges have been washed away by heavy rains,” she said. She said local livestock farmers have given up after their animals were wiped out by diseases despite numerous appeals to the government to send veterinary experts to the area. “We cannot engage in meaningful farming because pests and other kinds of diseases and weeds kill our crops, lowering the harvests. We appeal to the government to help us learn modern agricultural methods,” she added. Even the few farmers who record good harvests cannot market their produce because of poor roads.

A break down in law and order in parts of the region has also contributed to a high school dropout rate. “The influence of the night disco culture makes young children drop out of school and disobey their parents. The government should stop this social rot and force the closure of these discos,” Asu stated.

Another resident, Salome Kiden, 73, and also a mother of three, says many locals die of treatable diseases because government hospitals lack drugs. “The government should equip the hospitals with drugs and necessary facilities. They must also make major roads passable so that the sick can be taken to the hospitals in good time,” said Kiden. She added that scarcity of clean water had also contributed to the upsurge of many diseases. In most villages, women and children walk long distances to access water. The majority, she continued, depend on contaminated water found in nearby wells. She urged the government to form a committee to survey and document the challenges facing its people. She is particularly concerned that a few existing water wells that got spoilt have not even been repaired by the government.

Locals also complain of poor sanitation in local markets and other social places sparking fears of outbreak of diseases.

For Banja Steven, the high prices of food should be addressed by the government as a priority. The 53 year old father of three, says many villagers are starving because the government had failed to control the prices of essential commodities. “I earn a living by fetching water for the people in the trading centers but the money I earn is too little to enable me to feed my family because of the rising prices of food,” he said.

It is clear that the fledgling nation is grappling with serious challenges, most of which are crucial to the basic welfare and survival of its citizens, and therefore, it is not surprising that many are becoming impatient with the slow pace of improvements.