Noel Loku Lubang, a youth leader, said many young people and children have had their education halted. He says their parents are unemployed and therefore cannot pay for their children's schooling inside or outside the country.
We need to study.
“Their parents were helping them but now they have no way to help them. The youths are now lingering without work,” Lubang said. “We have heard the country needs people and we need to study,” the youth leader said.
“When we were in Wonduruba we use to cut and sell bamboo. When we came to Yei we resorted to laying bricks and digging pit latrines, we thatch people’s houses, but now we have lost all these activities because it is rainy season. Now we have no work,” he said.
The Bishop of Wonduruba Diocese, Mathew Taban agreed, saying many people lack food, clean water and education. “The schools that are in Lainya County are overstressed now that the population is so big,” he said. “So most of our children who are displaced from Wonduruba are missing out on education.”
The people of Wonduruba have been displaced, moving to Yei County, Lainya County and others to Juba, since conflict broke out in the area on September 10, 2015, the Bishop said.
“Our people have been self reliant and even sometimes they used to sell food to Juba and even the markets in Lainya,” the bishop said. “Now they have been subjected to relying on handouts because of the insecurity that made them leave their fields.”
Kujang, an IDP women representative in Yei agreed that the education issue was pressing. “When we arrived here we were told that children will be distributed to the various schools in Yei. But when this happened, they were sent back home for school fees. The parents faced hardship since they do not have work to pay their children,” she said.
The bishop appealed to the government to speed up the peace process. Only with an end to the conflict can the IDPs return to their original homes, even though their farming has been interrupted, meaning that food shortages are likely to persist, initially.
Samuel Lemi, the Commissioner of the newly created Wonduruba County, has urged both the state and national governments to speed up the implementation of the peace agreement so that his people return home.