By Bida Elly David
Peace keepers in Tambura have heartedly contributed in safeguarding internally displaced residents due to the on-going conflict in the state.
This happened after realising that some displaced persons developed fear as they were desperately running out of water in their settlement zone.
Margret Alber Mikisi, one of displaced persons said, the presence of the peace keeping forces in Tombura was crucial since they accessed basic needs in the village due to war.
“Their presence around us is important as it helps us move around with confidence. We feared passing through the thick forest along the way, but with the peacekeepers following us, we feel protected. As a result, water scarcity is no longer an issue,” said Margret Albert Mikisi.
She is one of more than 40,000 people who have been displaced by the on-going conflict in Tambura in Western Equatoria State, and one of many displaced girls and women who spent several hours per day walking through tough bush vegetation to collect the precious water.
According to Farai Nyamayaro escorting internally displaced persons who walked long distances to fetch indispensable water for their households has become one of the remedies to safeguard destitute people in the residence.
‘’We peacekeepers have managed to greatly reduce incidents of violence against the women who typically carry out this heavy but essential task.Marathon walks carrying water remain arduous, but at least it is no longer the dangerous chore it used to be when females were frequently targeted by armed men’’ Said Farai.
Furthermore, he reiterated that they were currently protecting three sites where the IDP were based with desperate needs.
“We (UNMISS) are protecting three sites where the internally displaced people are staying. We identified some needs that we are trying our best to address, with one of them being the risks involved in fetching water,” said Farai Nyamayaro, a UN Civil Affairs Officer based in Yambio.
In fact, the legwork of the patrolling peacekeepers has created a sense of steadfast protective presence, which is benefitting not only water carriers but also local communities in general.