Easter Equatoria State, News

Communities propose school construction to prevent violence

By Jino Wilson


Communities of Bira Payam, Ikotos County, Eastern Equatoria State, are urgently appealing for  construction of a boarding school along Kidepo Valley.

They said the establishment of such a school would enable children from Ikotos and Budi counties to study together which would mitigate the persistent issue of cattle raids in the region.

This request was made during a pre-consultative community peace meeting organized by Root of Generations, with support from Shejeh Salam, a USAID-funded project.

Ochieng Simon, the executive chief of Bira payam highlighted the importance of having boarding school constructed along Kidepo Valley.

“The best way we can reduce this recurring cattle raiding is through the establishment of boarding school along Kidepo Valley” he continued. “We need to have a boarding school that will bridge the two communities of Budi & Ikotos Counties.”

Chief Ochieng requests the Government and development partners to buy their idea of establishing a boarding school where children from these rival communities learn together to forge peaceful co-existence.

According to him, the ongoing cattle raiding is putting communities’ relationships in jeopardy. He recounted that women who were going for firewood, and collecting vegetables were always victims of circumstance.

“Our women whenever, they go for firewood, for vegetables, they felt into ambushes hence end up being killed by those who are looking for cattle” Ochieng cited.

Another community member, Julius Odoch supported the idea of constructing the boarding school including water dams where the communities interact together to allow peace to prevail between the communities of Ikotos and Budi Counties.

“We need both the construction of a Dam and Boarding school. A dam will link up these communities as well as the school,” he noted.

The Community leader further suggested the need to deploy soldiers to end the recurring circle of communal violence.

For his part, Pio Lotiang Chief of Losite Boma Ikotos County described the ongoing cattle raid as manner activities.

He called upon youth across Ikotos and Budi Counties to redirect their energy into productive activity rather than engaging themselves in evil acts adding that cattle raiding is putting the community into danger.

In many locations visited by Root of Generations, (ROG) while conducting pre-consultative community peace meetings communities suggested and requested for boarding schools to be built around Kidepo Valley to avert communal conflict.

They underlined that Kidepo Valley is a central point where children from Budi and Ikotos can learn and have peace prevail.

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