The Kuron Peace Village in South Sudan has been badly damaged by flooding. Peace Village employee Prisca Wani says, “The floods have been disastrous. Everything we worked for for sixteen years was destroyed in one day.” The Kuron Peace Village is a partner of PAX.
Torrential flooding has affected hundreds of thousands of people in South Sudan and Sudan. People have lost their homes and are fleeing the water en masse. Drinking water is scarce due to polluted water sources, and the UN is warning of a coming famine as the water has destroyed food supplies and crops. People in South Sudan have already been suffering the effects of years of conflict.
Prisca Wani of the Kuron Peace Village is devastated. “All the sleeping quarters and the food storage were flooded. The fruit and vegetable garden, the irrigation system and the pump were completely flooded. Many people have become ill from malaria, dengue fever or snake bites. The flooding has destroyed so much that we’re afraid we’ll face enormous food shortages in the coming months.”
Outside support badly needed
The Kuron River burst its banks, wreaking havoc not just to the village, but also on the surrounding countryside. The two bridges connecting communities on both sides of the river are gone. Sara Ketelaar of PAX: “PAX has supported the Kuron Peace Village since its foundation. Bishop Paride Taban founded the peace village to be a model for a future peaceful South Sudan. It started symbolically with the construction of a bridge across the river, literally and figuratively building bridges between hostile communities. It takes commitment and patience to help people who have spent decades in conflict work together and become self-sufficient. Sustainable peace needs a foundation and that comes from the bottom up. In a country like South Sudan, many building blocks were still needed even before these floods, to make this possible. The staff in the Peace Village are already working hard on this and outside help is desperately needed.”
$1 million of damage
The damage to the peace village is estimated at $1 million. Peace work in the village has become all but impossible now that all facilities have been lost. Different ethnic groups live together in the village. The residents have set up a health centre, a primary school and test new farming methods. In addition, residents engage in peace building in the form of conflict resolution, conflict transformation, dialogue, sports, theatre and regional cooperation projects.
The Kuron Peace Village is meant to serve as an example for other communities in South Sudan, a country that is still ravaged by conflict and where the peace agreement is very fragile. The current state of emergency is a huge setback for the village. PAX is supporting the Peace Village as much as possible during this difficult period.
Read more about Kuron Peace Village
See also Paride Taban: Building Peace in South Sudan (pageflow)