By Yang Ater Yang
The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said suicide cases are on the rise in Lakes State, urging the government to intervene.
CEPO’s Lakes’ State coordinator, Daniel Laat Kon said the number of suicide death cases recorded in 2021-2022 is 45 and 28 suicide attempts mostly in Rumbek East, Wulu, Yirol West and Rumbek Central among other counties.
Laat Kon told No.1 Citizen Newspaper in his office on Friday that CEPO is worried about the alarming situation of suicide death cases and attempts as figures of the reported suicide death cases sparked concerns from community members and State Government.
Daniel said CEPO has registered more suicide death cases since 2021-2022 compared to other years of conflict.
“Almost one in eight of all recorded suicide attempts and deaths in Lakes State are children and elderly people, with a total of over 45 suicide cases and 28 attempts recorded in just less than 14 months, from January 2021- February 2022,” he said.
“The number of suicides in the State has been rising sharply over the past years; the first two months of 2022 have seen the number jumping up to eight due to harsh living conditions and GBV cases. Out of those who attempted suicide, most of them are at least between 45 years old and above or younger, while 12 are adolescent girls between the ages of 8, 12 and 20 respectively,” he added .
Laat said the figures emerged among constantly deteriorating harsh living conditions for people in Lakes State that has been in conflict, “some of the causes include poverty, economic hardship, illiteracy and employment, domestic violence, child marriage, broken relationships and bullying”.
“As CEPO, we registered two cases of underage girls that took their lives in connection to cultural practices on 15th February of 2022. A 26-year-old man also took his own life in the forest on the same day as result of traumatic event he had gone through during inter-communal conflict that has lasted for over 20 years,” Laat stated.
He said that the good number of adult youth and women that have experienced traumatic events always have suicidal thoughts in their mind.
Laat said some people in the community see death as the only solution to their problems. “We therefore urge the government to improve the worsening economic situation in South Sudan by providing basic needs including food and medication, he appealed to all the International Organizations and UN agencies to intervene by supporting activities of awareness creation and community sensitization, establish and support counseling centres that will work in trauma healing processes,” he concluded.