Army in cleaning drive
South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) cleaning along Custom-Bilpam Road (File photo):
By David Mono Danga
The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) has come out in large numbers to clean the streets of Juba City in a bid to engage in general cleanliness of the environment.
Army Chief of Defense Forces Lieutenant General Gabriel Jok ordered for the security forces to clean the environment.
Speaking to Juba Monitor after the cleaning campaign on Friday, the Army Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said since the war is over the army had to get involved in more community development projects and disaster response.
“War is coming to an end now. In military the army gets involved in activities other than war. During peace time we engage in peacetime events like participating in rescue operations during an outbreak of natural disasters like earthquake, floods and disease,” Ruai said.
“In the absence of outbreak of natural disaster, we are involved in general cleaning of Juba so that we improve on the state of the public health,” he added.
The army spokesperson revealed that since the army is not engaging in offensive military operations, it is cleaning the city, opening water channels and joining hands with the members of the public to ‘Keep Juba city Clean and Green.’
This is the second time the country’s defense forces are coming out to clean the city with first time being during the preparation for Peace Celebration Day.
According to Maj Gen. Ruai, the cleaning shall be conducted in the first week of every month. He however stated that if need be the army would increase the frequency of the cleaning campaign to two times in a month or more.
When asked why the army was cleaning in their surrounding areas, the army spokesman said; “Charity begins at home. Even the Bible says preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ must start from Galilee and then to other parts.”
He said to remove dirt in someone else’s eye one has to first clean his/hers.
“We must make sure Bilpam is clean, the road to Bilpam also should be clean and then extend to the nearest neighbor,” Ruai added.
He however complained that much as they have the man power, they still lack equipment to facilitate the smooth running of the cleaning campaign.
He said they need gargets like; protective gears, gloves, cleaning boots, wheelbarrows, trucks to collect the garbage and first aid box among others.
The environment of Juba City and the suburbs have a lot of hygiene concerns due to the poor waste management. This is caused by lack of citizen responsibility in ensuring that the city and its surroundings look clean and attractive. This is why the army has joined the Youth, the City Council and other members of the public to clean the city.
The cleaning campaign attracted youth and passersby.