Community Manage Disaster Risk Reduction
After decades of civil war, the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 provided unprecedented opportunities for peace building and improving the humanitarian and development situation.
However, a lack of peace dividends for conflict‐affected communities in Upper Nile State has perpetuated tensions based on resources.
An absence of social services and livelihood opportunities, and perceptions of isolation and marginalization all contribute to undermining durable peace in the country, where poverty rates are up to 90%. Continued armed fighting, pressures on grazing and water resources and struggles over land rights contribute to instability.
The Community Manage Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) program was a twelve months, community-based, donor funded project whose primary aim was to capacitate the community based institutions in disaster risk reduction and promote peace building and effective conflict management in the border areas between the ethnic communities.
The CMDRR project has four targeted objectives:
- Reorganization, restructuring and capacitating of various community organizations.
- Mapping out conflict areas, sensitization of communities and local authorities on peaceful co-existence.
- Sensitization and creating public awareness on communicable diseases.
- Enhance the capacity of the local farmers through integrated pest management.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
- Community of Panyidwai Payam is organized, trained and strengthened to be able to mitigate and prepare for disaster.
- Briefing meeting with the local authorities/chiefs and the head of the committees.
- Consultative meetings for 15 community leaders, each to identify the existing community based organizations and structures.
- Facilitated the formation of four community based organizations/committees with a total of 25 participants.
- Capacity building training workshop on the key elements of the bottom-up, demand driven, flexible process, for community representatives to enhance their management capacities and the community to gain trust in its abilities.
- Conducted a meeting with local community leaders and representative from local authorities to reflect on the first six months.
Local authorities and heads of local organizations are sensitized, mobilized to map out conflict areas in the Payam to enhance peaceful co-existence.
The project trained community representatives, nominated from six targeted community based committee members, on mapping out conflict areas and sensitizing communities and local authorities on peaceful co-existence.
- Sensitization and creating public awareness on communicable diseases affecting the community.
- Enhancing capacity of local farmers through the provision of agriculture inputs. As a result of this training, community members were sensitized on the mitigation and prevention measures of prioritized hazards.
The trained community representatives are cascading the training outcome, knowledge and skills to community members in their respective villages.
The CMDRR Project Phase I impact was surveyed through the participatory assessment conducted by Fashoda Youth Forum at the end of the project, evaluating 20 participants.
The result shows that the CMDRR intervention motivated the community to:
- engage in peace talks with their neighboring communities,
- use the agriculture tools distributed to produce more food for their households, and to
- change their health behavioral practices in term of sleeping under mosquito nets, digging latrines and better personal hygiene.
Before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9th 2005, Dolieb Hill was occupied and controlled for strategic military reasons by the militia allied to the Government of Sudan (GoS).
This area forms part of the Shilluk Kingdom, which during the civil war was largely controlled by the troops of SPLA/M United – a breakaway faction from the mainstream SPLM/A, under the Command of Dr Lam Akol, with headquarters in the rural area of Fashoda County.
Beyond that were the SPLM/A and other armed groups of the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF), or so called ‘unaligned’ groups, claiming to act independently – though that was impossible without GoS support.
As a result, the whole area was a patchwork of different military forces, with the resulting tensions such contested presence fosters. As with many rural areas of South Sudan there are massive numbers of small arms held by many different groups in both rural and urban areas within the surrounding rural areas.
The community was impressed by the organization’s CMDRR intervention programs and had the following interest stories to share.
The community members found the peace lessons to be beneficial and thus encouraged the organization to train other communities within the county on peace building and violence prevention. They added that these lessons will enable everyone to learn important peace principles that will enhance peaceful coexistence.
The community chairperson also encouraged the organization to proceed with the CMDRR peace program, citing that the peace component was very successful.
The Payam administrator also suggested the re-introduction of chemical sprays on bushes and vegetation along rivers.