Lack of services impedes return of refugees

By Bida Elly David

The Chairperson of South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) said that it would be of no use if those in exile are urged to voluntarily return back home without provision of basic services to determine their comfort at home.

This development arose during a courtesy visit of the UNHCR and government representatives to see the returnees’ population who voluntarily returned to Magwi following series of conflicts that formerly displaced them from their homes.

Addressing the multitude of the returnees in Magwi County this week, Dr. Manase Lomole, the Chairperson of South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) said that there are lots of needs that should be addressed to pave way for the voluntary return of the citizens in refugee camps.

The RRC chairperson admitted the fact that most roads in the Country are not in good shapes to be accessed as well as the security but he noted that with time things shall be mended.

“As the people return voluntarily and spontaneously from the refugee camps, there is need to prepare for them the basic services. For example, the children need to get schools so that they are not left behind by some of the parents who chose to come first and leave their children behind,” he said. “We need to have our families growing together. They will not do well without having schools. Primary school programs, secondary school programs and other forms of education,” he added. 

Dr. Lomole said that engaging the current returnees in skills training programs as well as establishing hospitals would be some of the crucial ways to convince the remaining population in the camps to return back into the Country as well as make young people to be actively engaged.

“There is need to initiate skills training programs so that young people should be actively engaged in productive activities. I also feel that Magwi requires a hospital since the town looks great and well developed (facility). We cannot do without getting a fairly good hospital,” he continued.

He appealed to development partners and the government to find how best they could provide hospitals to areas in South Sudan with greater return of refugees particularly Magwi County so that others make steps for voluntary return.

“Magwi requires roads. The roads that we pass through are terrible. Therefore, it will be very good if road programs can be initiated in this County so that the farmers who grow a lot of maize, groundnuts and cassava can be able to take their food to the market,” he said.

The RRC head stressed that the main roads that are broken are the key issues that need to be addressed immediately.

Dr. Lomole commended the UNHCR team for standing firm in supporting the returnees in Magwi with agricultural tools and urged them to continue rendering their services to the best of their capacity.

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