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Women await distribution of non-food items in Rotriah payam of Rubkona county in Unity state

Water scarcity hits returnees in Rubkona County of Unity State

Thousands of the internally displaced persons who are being hosted in Rotriah payam of Rubkona County are in urgent need of clean drinking water.

Joseph Luoy Beleu, a 32- year- old student of business administration in the Khartoum-based Bari University said he is worried of contracting water borne disease due to the poor hygiene of the water.

 Belue who hails from Mayom County of Unity State is among several returnees who recently fled ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan

“The situation here is getting worse, I am afraid the water we are drinking here is contaminated which cause infections, the hygiene is very poor, people may go for open defecation,” he told The Juba Echo on Thursday.

 “If they want to sustain the health of the population, it is good to bring enough clean drinking water because without water there is no life, the water in the containers is not enough for all of us as new arrivals are seen every day,” he added.

Gisma Michael,23, and mother of three, said they are experiencing chronic food shortages.

She said the returnees arriving in Panakuach border crossing point need urgent basic services. 

“We have arrived home safely but we lack basic supplies, we need water, food and shelter,” Michael said.

She said all her belongings were looted as she fled fighting in Sudan.

James Chieng, the Chairperson of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission for Unity State, said many South Sudanese have returned home through Panakuach border crossing point.

“We have received a number of returnees and refugees, sometimes they come in either 4 or 5 buses a day, we have about 8500 returnees in Rotriah and the refugees have been taken to Ajuongthok in Ruweng,” Chieng said.

Kubur al-Tijan Osman Abdunebi, a 17-year-old Sudanese girl who fled fighting in Alasari in South Khartoum with her siblings, said they are traumatized after escaping amid heavy air bombardment and artillery.

“All our belongings were looted along the way, we have survived abduction and harassment but the biggest challenge now is water and food,”Abdunebi said.

Lora Gabriel, a mother of eight, said humanitarian situation remains dire at Panakuach border crossing point.

“We have a problem of water, the number of returnees is increasing, we request government and partners to provide enough water,” Gabriel said.

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