Easter Equatoria State, News

Youths grapple over unemployment

By Gladys Fred Kole


Eastern Equatoria State Youth Union Secretary General, Samson Lokiru, has raised concerns about the growing number of unemployed young people in the state.

Mr. Lokiru said that youths constitute a significant portion of the population in the region but due to a lack of engaging activities, some are resorting to dubious acts and lawlessness.

“A large portion of our population is youth,” Lokiru said. “Without activities to engage them, they end up loitering and, in some cases, turn to risky ventures to survive. We’ve already seen this happening with nighttime robberies targeting people with valuables.”

The Youth Union secretary general underlined frustration due to unemployment as another factor leading some youths to cattle raiding. “The economic crisis contributes too,” he explained.

“When you have nothing, and friends suggest raiding cattle to sell, it becomes tempting.”

Lokiru pointed out the consequences of this situation.

“Many young lives have been lost. Prisons here are overflowing with young people committing crimes,” he added.

The Youth Union is working to address these issues. “We’ve formed associations at the county level and conduct awareness campaigns on radio stations,” Lokiru said.

Meanwhile, Eastern Equatoria’s Deputy Governor, Hon. Mary Alphonse Lodira, emphasized the importance of youth investment.

“The state’s, and the country’s, future is in the hands of our youth,” Lodira said.

“We need to prioritize them. We’ve witnessed challenges, but what we need now is for young people to take charge. We can’t be here forever.”

Speaking at the inauguration of two youth multipurpose centres donated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Lodira acknowledged the support for young people.

“UNHCR has given you hope,” Lodira told the youths. “There are people who care. They took the time to come here for you.”

The Deputy Governor urged the youths to take advantage of these opportunities. “I’m happy you’ll have a place to discuss the future of the country and your own futures,” Lodira concluded.

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