Cholera Outbreak Slowly Stabilizes in Southern Juba
Our Cholera Emergency Response Team adopts creative practices as it spreads awareness and promotes prevention tactics
JUBA—June 19, 2014— Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, is not an easy city to navigate. While a few of the
main roads that connect government buildings are paved and cared for, the vast majority of roads consist of
nothing more than dirt and dust. Since July 2011, Juba has undergone the most rapid urban expansion it has ever
seen with tremendous population growth and infrastructural development. Unfortunately the expansion, along
with the current political conflict, has made Juba one of the most chaotic and disjointed cities in northeast Africa.
These factors have played a role in the cholera outbreak that began just over a month ago in Juba. The city is
lacking in vital resources to help keep its population safe and healthy:
“We are aware of the weak infrastructural situation. Only 30% of the population has access to
treated water from boreholes and that water travels through old leaky pipes.”
-Peter Mahal Dhieu, Director of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Ministry of Electricity
The cholera outbreak is slowly stabilizing, but if the disease spreads past city limits, it could have grave
consequences for the rest of South Sudan. Our Cholera Team is now concentrating its efforts in southern Juba
where we have implemented neighborhood-wide awareness campaigns about the dangers of cholera. We have also
been mapping high-risk zones for contracting cholera, and have held extensive meetings at schools and markets
promoting safe hygiene practices.
Creativity is necessary when it comes to spreading awareness about these important issues. Francis, one of our
hygiene promotion team members who was tired of giving speaking presentations at his meetings, wrote a cholera-
awareness song that he now sings at every community meeting he attends. In our new neighborhoods in southern
Juba, we are promoting cholera-prevention tactics. These areas have not been affected by the outbreak as
drastically as others, so we are working with community leaders to prevent it from becoming a serious threat.
Sadly, Juba is no longer considered the land of opportunity as it was three years ago when independence was first
declared. For thousands of poor residents, there are little to no resources for them and food insecurity is
rampant—it’s an issue we’ll be reporting on soon. The lack of support for Juba’s poorest residents can be seen on
most streets—garbage collection is largely nonexistent. There are no government resources to implement such
programs and many streets are becoming dangerously polluted. But even without government assistance, we see
community members every day cleaning their neighborhoods on their own—sweeping the roads, collecting trash,
and doing what they can to keep public spaces clean and safe for everyone. These communities are passionate
about making the most of what they have, and your support helps us work hand-in-hand with them to stop the
spread of cholera and provide them with the resources they need.
For more information
Please contact:
Elisabeth Anderson Rapport
Senior Communications Officer
212.967.7800 x134

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