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Gawaar Global Community holds an emergency meeting on flood in Ayod County

Sep 13, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Gawaar Global Community, comprising of the communities in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, held its September General Assembly yesterday, September 12, 2020, one week ahead of its schedule to address the issue of flood, peace and security in Ayod and Jonglei State.

Residents of Ayod county walking in a flooded airstrip in Ayod county(Photo credit: supplied)
Residents of Ayod county walking in a flooded airstrip in Ayod county(Photo credit: supplied)

The E-conference was well attended by intellectuals, elders and leaders of the Gawaar Communities from different affiliations and institutions across the three continents [North America, Asia/Australia and Europe] to address emergency issues that are affecting communities in Ayod county and Jonglei State as a whole.

Addressing the media after the conference, the president of the Gawaar Global Community and Chairman of the Gawaar Community Association in Canada, Deng Elijah, said the conference addressed the issue of flood and how the community can respond, both in short term and also in long term.

“The ongoing flood is an emergency that needs our collective efforts.” Said Deng Elijah, the president of the Gawaar Global Community.

“Ayod county, for example, has more than 10 airstrips but out of all these airstrips only the Airstrip in Ayod town and another one in Mogok town are accessible. The rest are submerged by the flood and there are no canoes to evacuate civilians yet the government is not addressing these issues” He continued.

Like many parts of Jonglei State, the entire Ayod county is affected by the ongoing flood.

“People are stranded everywhere in the flood. Almost half of the population of Ayod county is sandwiched between the Nile and the Phou river, and these areas are all submerged in deep water.” Deng continued

“This part of the county cannot be accessed through airstrip and civilians cannot cross the Phou river or the river Nile that is also overflowing” he further said.

The community leaders and intellectuals made recommendations on what could be done both in short term and also in long term.

In short term, the community agreed to run a fundraising campaign where members, friends and sympathizers will contribute to a pool of money that will be used to buy basic items like mosquito nets and drugs.

The community also called on the government of Jonglei State and various NGOs to step up efforts to rescue those who are stranded in the flood and provide them with the basic needs.

Link to donation page: Support Ayod Flood Victims 

Intellectuals suggested long term recommendations such as building dams and better drainage systems specially in major towns to prevent future flooding.

“Thinking of it, these things are not rocket science to do. All it takes is leadership. With better grassroots leadership such as county commissioners, and of course with support from intellectuals, the community can be driven to achieve these things even with their little resources” Said Chuol Tot Chuol,

Welcoming Governor Denay and His Peace Proposal

On the new leadership of Jonglei State, the Gawaar Global Community welcomes the new governor and called on him to pay more attention to civilians more than to politicians in Juba.

The community welcomed the new initiative for peace in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area, and commends both the governor and UNMISS for this much needed initiative in these states.

With deep concerns, the community also urged the governor to mind his language especially when it comes to addressing communities using controversial generalizations such as “Greater Fangak” [instead of Phou] or “Greater Bor” [instead of Bor, Twic East and Duk] that are causing more divisions and heated debates among these communities.

“Well, we can say the governor may not be aware that he could be creating more divisions than unity, which is a contradiction to his division, but at the same time he is not working alone, so he should learn from those who are around him” Said one elderly member who asked the community to give the new Denay a benefit of doubts.

The Gawaar Global Community further called on the new Jonglei administration to begin working with the communities at the grassroots and address the issue of flood especially in the counties that are most affected by this natural disaster.

The Community also called on the government and the oppositions to finalize formation of local governments, especially the allocation of counties, so that commissioners can play their roles in restoring peace and stabilizing security at the grassroots.

The community believe that the new local authorities will be vital in addressing grassroots issues such as rescuing affected populations in these floods and other emergencies that are arising at county levels.

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