The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed over a primary school that was rehabilitated under the Enhancing Community Resilience and Local Governance Project (ECRP) to government and community of Western Bahr El Ghazal state.
IOM in a statement issued on Thursday, noted that rehabilitation works on the school started early 2022 after the Wau North Payam Development Committee (PDC), comprised of representatives from each Boma Development Committee (BDC) in the payam, identified rehabilitation of Janain Primary School as one of the community’s priority development objectives.
Janain Primary School is located in Hai Fahal, a highly multi-cultural community which is home to persons from different social, cultural, and ethnic groups, many of whom fled their former communities during the civil conflict.
IOM said that under the supervision of ECRP’s technical teams, contractors constructed a wall around the school, one block of two classrooms, and a gender segregated latrine that also accommodates the needs of people with disabilities.
It said more than 350 students, including host community members, returnees, and IDPs will benefit from this newly rehabilitated infrastructure.
Esterina John, the head mistress at the school, expressed her happiness about the project.
“I am excited that my school has seen this rehabilitation. The classes are looking beautiful. My pupils will be protected inside this wall from anything bad that could harm them while at school and their concentration in class will be focused,” John said.
ECRP, through the leadership and commitment of the local government and community, strives to address this issue in Hai Fahal and other ECRP-selected communities where PDCs have chosen school infrastructure projects through the rehabilitation of schools.
ECRP seeks to maximize the impact of school construction and rehabilitation by also ensuring the sustainability of the schools through a strong focus on government and community led operation and maintenance, as is critical for all types of infrastructure built under ECRP.
“We used to study under a tree, because the classrooms were not enough to accommodate all of us but, looking at this new building, I am happy that I will not miss my classes again when it rains because there is now enough space to accommodate us all,” Magdelina, a pupil of Janain Primary school said.
So far, ECRP has handed over nine infrastructure sub-projects in Wau and Raja Counties, including health facilities, schools, and water yards. In the coming weeks, IOM will be handing over more infrastructure subprojects in Wau and other parts of the country where the project is operating.
ECRP, funded by the World Bank and implemented by UN Office for Projects Support (UNOPS) and IOM on behalf of the government of South Sudan, seeks to strengthen the capacity of local governance and community level institutions, and build infrastructure to address gaps in basic services in 20 counties across ten states in South Sudan.
ECR works to instrumentalize South Sudan’s Local Government Act by supporting the formation and functioning of gender and minority inclusive Boma Development Committees and Payam Development Committees as sustainable drivers of community development. As such, ECRP promotes social cohesion by strengthening state-citizen relationships through improved service delivery and collaboration on development projects. The project has reached over 630,000 people across diverse locations, benefitting these communities directly with project investments and support.
South Sudan is home to more than 2.8 million children, over 70 percent of whom are out of school. Furthermore, most of those who are in school do not have access to the school infrastructure that is essential for effective teaching and learning to take place.