OpEd, Politics

Even if death is on leave, some people can force it to resume work

God helps those who help themselves. I cannot push a plane and when the engine starts, I board it. Even if I’m a biological son of a sheep, which, according to traditional beliefs, says it does not run away because of what it has not seen, I cannot do that. I have already seen it. The engine has failed to ignite, what else do I need to wait for?

One time, I boarded a domestic plane. Two jerrycans of groundnut paste were uploaded and you know how heavy they are. Other luggage was uploaded as well. I saw it and my heart jerked. When we were called to take seats, three people, two boys and one man, were called up and told to sit in the spare between seats.

I never tolerated it. I talked to the aviation company staff and he did not listen to me. I climbed down and cancelled my journey. Yes, the plane arrived safely but the truth that it was overloaded could not let me travel by it. The biggest part of my safety is in my hand.

A plane designed to carry, for instance, 20 people can carry 25 in South Sudan. “Nhomriɛl ma kwes” with something that flies in the sky. It could be somehow good with cars, ships or motorbikes. When a car is overloaded and the driver loses control later, there may be survivors. When a ship is overloaded and it sinks in the middle of the river, a few passengers may escape. The same applies to a motorbike.

But with a plane in the sky, even if it breaks and pours people out, the wind, the trees and the soil can still harm passengers to death. How many planes have crashed? So many. But before pointing a finger at the manufacturer of the plane, the first finger could be pointed at the staff of the aviation company.

Then the second finger could be pointed at the owner of the company and the third finger goes to the manufacturer. The aviation company staff are hungry for money and so, they overload planes to get extra money to benefit from nowhere. The owners of the aviation companies receive the money for flights and consume it all even if reports that planes are in bad condition are on their desks.

They think the planes can repair themselves alone. To them, a plane that still ignites on becomes a sin to repair. The time they think of repair is the time the plane has crashed and this is already late. Believe me, some planes, when landing, refuse to let out tyres, resulting in pilot roaming in the sky in an attempt to please the plane to stretch its tyres.

Some planes refuse to close or open the doors, resulting in delay as mechanics are called to fix it while the passengers are on board. The planes are old. Some started flying in 1980s, for instance, the plane that killed 20 people in Yirol in 2018. Who should be blamed for such a fatal mess? It is the aviation authority to blame. If not the aviation authority, then it is the Ministry of Transport to blame. Let us accept the truth.

What is best regulated is the confiscation of forbidden things, including huge money, removal of belts, watches, shoes, and approval of travel documents, but nobody cares about the condition of planes. As long as the money flows into the channel, it is up to God to decide whether to safeguard the passengers or fold His hands on His back.

The Ministry of Transport and the Aviation authority should care much about the lives of passengers more than what the passengers pay. They should prioritise the conditions of planes to make sure faulty plane crashes are minimised. This requires them to check on the planes once they are scheduled for travels.

Undeniably, much care is put on international flights, leaving domestic flights to fly at God’s mercy. At the end of the day, the passengers perishing are South Sudanese. This is injudicious. Not only injudicious, but also inhuman. There is need to keep an eye on the conditions of planes.

Thanks for reading “Sowing The Seed Of Truth”.

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