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I can now pay for my children, SNSDP beneficiary says

Some of the SNSDP beneficiaries standing at the working site in Nyakuron East (photo by Woja Emmanuel Wani):

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

Beneficiaries of the Safety Net and Skills Development Project (SNSDP) supporting local communities have expressed satisfaction after the project has changed their lives.

The government funded program from the World Bank has improved the living condition of families who have been working by repairing feeder roads in their neighborhoods.

Margaret Augustino, one of the 309,000 individual beneficiaries of the project said that the work has made life easy for them and enabled them pay for household and other necessities.

“This work has really done a lot to us, I am now able to cater for my children and also pay their dues at school,” Margaret told Juba Monitor in an interview on Wednesday. “Life was hard before this project was launched. I hope they will continue to help us in this hard situation.”

Through the project beneficiaries are temporarily employed and work for four hours a day and fifteen days a month to receive USD 45 paid in South Sudanese Pounds.

However she worries that since the project was coming to an end, the government through the support of the World Bank and Action Africa Help should renew the project for them to continue earning some money through the project.

The Quarter Council Chairperson of Nyakuron East Mr. George Gabriel Wani told Juba Monitor on Wednesday that the project has improved their lives and strengthened the social cohesion among the workers in the area and other quarters where it is being implemented.

“The work has created love, unity among our community and has given us chance to know each other,” Wani said before adding that the level of unemployment among the vulnerable communities has also reduced.

Wani appealed for renewal of the project to reach all corners of the town to improve the outlook of the infrastructure through the support from their partners.

He also cited that the number of the workers should be increased from about 402 in order to accommodate other vulnerable persons in the community to benefit from the project. Wani further urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to provide mechanical support for removal of hard obstacles such as big rocks on the roads.

Sakondo Salathiel, a Juba University student working in the project said that the initiative has helped facilitate his studies. He noted that it reduced the number of idle youth in the area and eliminated illegal practices such as theft and burglary.

Salathiel added that the support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning also assisted them in how to moderately use the money they earn from the work.

He thanked the initiative from the government and the World Bank for considering such critical projects to mitigate the suffering of the people in the current economic challenges.

Meanwhile the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Mr. John O. Kaniso said the ministry would not increase on the number of workers or bring in mechanization means as it would reduce on the budget meant for the workers.

“We had thought on adding the number of workers and also to provide you (workers) with engineers and tractors that can be used for removing some of the items that you may not remove by hand, but if we do that the budget will be very small for you,” Kaniso explained to the workers.

He said however that the ministry and the partners were working in close collaboration to narrow some of the challenges facing the workers.

On his part the country manager of the World Bank Mr. Tadasse Endeshaw pledged that the World Bank was committed to support the vulnerable communities in the country.

He said the objective of the project was aimed at financing family livelihoods for the vulnerable and enables them to participate in public work.

The safety net development project is a government project funded through a USD 21 million loan from the World Bank.

The government signed the agreement with the World Bank in November 2013 to implement the project in seven locations in South Sudan over a period of five years.

The project design was initially with three main components of social protection systems and project management, public works component and skills development components.

The project provide access to income opportunities and create temporary employment to poor and most vulnerable people and put in place building blocks for social protection system in South Sudan.

Beneficiaries of the project during the joint government and donor field visit

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