Appeal for People Displaced by Bushfire
Four separate bush fires ravaged parts of Maridi County in February. CWS partner the Maridi Service Agency has appealed for help. A woman and two children died in the fires, two remain in Maridi’s hospital a month later.
CWS is appealing for funds to replace bedding, utensils and other items lost in the fire.
One fire started when a man was burning rubbish but the rest have unknown causes. Water is limited, making firefighting impossible.
Director Wadalla Peter was one of the coordinators of the United Nations rapid needs assessment of the affected area last month.
“The situation is very dire. All local buildings have been destroyed. We have no support,” says Wadalla.
According to the report, 3,552 people have been affected. Women, girls, older people and those with disabilities are especially vulnerable.
A few families are staying with relatives but most are sleeping out in the open or crowded into homes that survived the fire. Everyone has to wait in long queues to collect unprotected water from the few remaining boreholes. The people are relying on wild yams for one small meal a day where they are available.
A total of 592 hectares were burned, destroying homes, latrines, tools, belongings, food stores, and crops ready for harvest.
The arrival of the March rains has added to their difficulties. The roads or tracks turn to mud, making the delivery of supplies an even bigger challenge.
The immediate priority is for Non Food Items, including plastic sheets, water containers, cooking utensils, sleeping mats and blankets.
“When there is a disaster like this, local communities do what they can. Many are already surviving on one meal a day and live constantly with hunger or the fear of hunger. Maridi Service Agency is always there for the people. They are doing all they can to meet their needs. If you can donate to this appeal, they can do much more,” Rob Wayne, International Programmes Team, Christian World Service.
Prayers for those affected and for South Sudan, which continues to struggle to find stability, good government and an end to violence are appreciated.
Maridi Service Agency is helping displaced people plant gardens and set up small businesses like tea stalls and shops. They are part of the local response to help those in need as well as running schools and training programmes, MaridiFM (the only local radio station) and the only HIV testing clinic.
If you can, please help now.
South Sudanese need food, water, sanitation, shelter and protection.
The peoples of South Sudan are very familiar with hunger and conflict. However, the United Nations is warning that the level of need is higher this year than ever before. In March 2021, it reported conflict, natural disaster and the effects of Covid-19 are threatening 7.2 million people with severe food insecurity and warned 8.3 million will need humanitarian assistance. Insecurity and poverty have displaced 1.615 million people within South Sudan. Slow progress on implementing the most recent peace agreement is holding back any hope of change.
Ugandan refugee camps are home to 897,184 and a further 762,288 are in Sudan. ACT Alliance is managing the Elegu border crossing in Uganda.
CWS are supporting the Maridi Service Agency and ACT Alliance to do what they can to save lives – water, shelter, sanitation and food. The South Sudan Council of Churches is deeply involved in peacemaking work at every level.