Juba (AFP) - A quarter of a million children face starvation in war-torn South Sudan, with an end to the 18-month conflict as distant as ever, the expelled UN aid chief warned Tuesday.
Tabu's responsibilities are many. She wakes up early in the morning, sweeps the compound, and walks long distances through the busy roads to fetch water. The place Agnes collects water is not safe, and the water source is dirty.
It's where we're from.
It's where we learned who we were and who we were not.
It's where our dreams first took shape.
Young and old, male and female these 300 former rebels, soldiers, farmers, and mothers hailing from different ribes, had all been vetted for the $5.00/month job of providing peace and security on a daily basis. Their faces radiated an optimism that their tired, worn out clothes did not.
The heat comes in waves and the dust never seems to go away as we stand next to a well that has been broken for TWO YEARS. I notice Florence near by and ask if we can talk to her. Florence turns out to be smart, gregarious, resilient and a just a bit ticked off.
You see she has given up the opportunities that a 25 year old South Sudanese refugee has in neighboring Uganda to come home and care for her widowed mother and all of the children of both of her two dead brothers. To add misery-to-misery she is now trekking more than a mile away to the polluted Yei River for water to keep everyone alive…after she boils the water of course.