By Mamer Abraham
Minister of interior has delivered her pledges to the South Sudan National Civil Defense Service (SSCDS) to lift its face to enable smooth service delivery.
Angelina Teny, who recently assumed office, assured the civil defense officers that they were free to report work challenges to her to be resolved.
In her definition of civil defense work, Angelina the scoop is not limited to firefighting but encompasses protection of buildings and public places.
She said the civil defense is also for carrying out awareness campaigns regarding safety measures to prevent life loss through wildfires.
She promised to work hand in hand with the civil defense for the betterment of the civilians, adding that Juba was highly populated and therefore the equipment for the civil defense should be equivalent to the population of civilians.
“What is also important is raising awareness among the citizens who are receiving the services from you. These are safety measures; we must have awareness campaigns in some government institutions and populated areas, even in the market,” she stated.
“Everybody who constructs a building in a public place must obtain a safety certificate that is issued from here (civil defense),” she stated.
Angelina promised that her ministry would delegate one person weekly to pay a courtesy call to the civil defense for the ministry to acquaint itself with how work is progressing at the department, adding that her office was open to any challenge to be forwarded to be addressed.
Jameson Losuk, the commissioner of South Sudan National Civil Defense, presented a number of challenges the civil defense faced across the country, including a lack of cars.
He stressed the importance of education, saying that they had a plan for a civil defense college, but the dream was lagging due to inadequate resources.
“The civil defense does not have cars or other equipment. We call upon you, the minister, and your deputy, to help us. We are requesting cars for civil defense officers. In the states, the civil defense does not have even a single car.” He highlighted.
Losuk argued that their contribution was much needed at the border of Sudan and South Sudan, where the Sudanese refugees and returnees are crossing, and also to help in settling them.
“Our work is not only firefighting. Even for those people who are crossing to South Sudan from Sudan, it is not the work of anybody else. It is our work in civil defense. If there is an influx of refugees, we are supposed to be there to settle those people. Honourable minister and your deputy, help us move forward,” he hinted.
“Education is very important. We have land, but we are unable to build it. We need to build a civil defense college. Civil Defense College is something that, when done, the country will realize its benefits for years to come if constructed,” he noted.
According to the commissioner, the SSNCDS had only two cars, one issued in 2002 and the latter issued in 2005, adding that this was challenging in the case of the fire outbreak within the city, which has intensified.
He requested the ministry give at least two or three more vehicles to the commission, and if things are better later, that number will increase.
Marial Gumke, deputy minister for interior, said the ministry would work hard to ensure that civil defense is present in the oil fields to exercise safety measures.
“The Ministry of Interior is very connected with civilians. Even in the oil field, you have 90 percent of the work to do there, and therefore your presence must be there,” he explained.
“We were appointed so that we could come and address the problems you have. If there is something we cannot manage, we shall return to the president and tell him that there is something important here, but it has been neglected for a very long time,” Gumke said.
He urged the civil defense forces to be courageous and not necessarily walk the streets with their heavy hearts full of questions.
“Discipline, while even walking, said some people could walk the streets with his heart heavy with all his problems. Bear in mind that one day this government will solve your problems,” he consoled.
Early last month, Angelina Teny was sworn into office as the new minister for interior as the president directed her to improve service delivery in the ministry.
The First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny urged the interior minister to create an enabling environment for 2024 general elections.