As you travel across Wandi payam in Mundri East county of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state, the excitement among communities is palpable.
The reason: A simple yet important step taken by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) of repairing a broken bridge, which has provided a lifeline for communities, enabling traders to travel more easily and ensuring humanitarian relief reaches families in need.
“It is a dream come true for hundreds of citizens. We are happy and grateful that, with support from UN peacekeepers, our people can move easily and ensure their basic needs are met. It is a relief that farmers can now sell their products with other places across South Sudan, especially the capital Juba,” said Gift Onge, a community leader in Wandi.
Access to better medical facilities was also a huge relief for county residents.
“We are blessed to have the bridge constructed. Earlier, we lost many people, especially pregnant women who needed urgent care but were unable to travel to healthcare facilities. Those days are now in the past,” said a delighted Tenisa Zenuba Emmanuel, a women’s representative from Kediba.
Funded through the UN Peacekeeping mission’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme in partnership with local organization, Hope Alive Education Foundation South Sudan, this small-scale intervention of repairing Kitto bridge is bound to have a big impact.
“The renovation of Kitto bridge will boost the economy, improve humanitarian access, and enhance access to better services such as health and education”, said Bini Stephen, Executive Director of Hope Alive Education Foundation South Sudan. “Free movement will attract investors and encourage internally displaced people to return home,” he added.
For his part, Thomas Bazawi, a Programme Management Assistant with UNMISS Protection, Transition and Reintegration, considers this bridge a part of durable solutions to foster a protective environment.
“UNMISS will continue to partner with the government and people of South Sudan to help usher in a better, brighter and peaceful future,” he said.
This type of infrastructure development is facilitated through the UNMISS Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme which forges collaborations with local implementing partners across South Sudan.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).