By Bol Tut
February 7, 2012 (SSNA) — First of all I would like to take this rare opportunity and congratulate Your Excellency Mr James Maluit Ruach for your re-appointment as Fangak county Commissioner. Though, my congratulation to you Mr Commissioner has appeared lately, still I belief that you are going to accept it.
In addition, I would like also to beg your Excellency to spare some few minutes and intentionally read or know why I write to you this letter at this critical time.
Mr Commissioner, as you know the people of Fangak county have all their confidences in you, that was why the Governor reinstated you in the county executive office in order to serves the Fangak county people for once more chance.
So, the reason why I decided to write to you such an open letter is not because your administration is doesn’t works properly, but because all the cases which happened while I was in the county might have either happened without your knowledge or you might have been engaging and busy somewhere doing something else beneficial to Fangak county people directly.
Indeed, you are among the best educated South Sudanese who completed their education overseas (abroad), so you need nobody else to direct you in this field of administration or educational knowledge to tackle every administrative challenges.
Anyway, what forced me to devote myself within these several minutes and write to you this open letter are different cases concerning the public situation which I found on the ground during my homecoming for the first time after I had been away for ten years outside the county.
Therefore, the aspects on which I can briefly concentrate are:-
Frankly speaking, Mr Commissioner in an educational aspect depending on what I could see 98 percent of the county children, youth and women even chiefs wanted to know the definition of the education, but due to general situation which has a connection with economy, lack of teachers, schools etc they could not attend school, this is because all youth do not have jobs, but instead these youth have been running from place to another only to get their families something to eat.
Teachers who are being paid by the government are very few in number and the state public service screening of last year has added salt to the wound, while a reasonable number of graduates as well as secondary school leaving certificates’ holders are moving around looking for employments.
All the county’s payams except Phom and Old Fangak payams have no access to primary schools because of the afromentioned problems.
However, our two famous secondary schools namely, William Chuol Deng and Fangak secondary schools which are now partly outside the county need to be upgraded or brought back to the county such that education is improve and let the Fangak county graduates to teach in these two secondary schools.
The health sector which is the most wanted and believed to be the second if not the first priority of any modern organization(government) is realy very poor in the county, that is to say health centres need to be available in every payam not only in Phom and Old Fangak payams. Even, a big number of the health workers (CHW) who are now working in both Old and New Fangak’s hospitals have just voluntered themselves to serve the community, more importantly which I should also comment on is the insider atmosphere of Old Fangak hospital (clinic) compare to any good health centre is really need intervention from responsible government like yours Mr, Commissioner.
Thus, I would also like to appreciate the great role being played by Dr Jill Seaman of South Sudan Medical Relief (SMR), and I’m praying to Almighty God to keeps Dr Seaman in good condition so that she can continue treating my people.
Yes, there are administrative errors and clashes involved all governmental institutions (units or ministries), for instance the ministry of interior, defence, justice and public service. All these ministries have defferent duties and functions, for example the ministry of interior in form of South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) is to prevent internally any crimes committed by any person and the protection of the people’s propeties as well.
The ministry of Defence that is South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF) is to defend the people or country from any external force that is not loyal to Juba’s government.
The ministry of Justice which is represented in the county by chiefs, Prison Service and Judges is deals with court cases and legal issues.
While, the People(Public) Service and human resources Development ministry representing by Public Administrative Officers(PAO) in the county is to collect taxes, carried out the executive laws in general and report every thing to the county executive director, and then direct to the state or your office.
But, this is not the case in the county, something which caused my dismay because I could see SSAF, SSPS as well as PAO have a different stations at which they collect taxes from traders, not only that the SSAF also uses to arrested, jailed and judge the civilians cases without being told not to do so.
Mr Commissioner, all these confusions cannot be put into order by somebody else but you, moreover many questions are being asked now by some certain citizens about the people working with you in and around the county Headquarters, why don’t you answer their questions?
In reality, the people of Fangak county have been passively living in an incessant insecurity for quite a long time following and even before the rebellion of Late George Athor, needless to mention the atrocities he committed. Now, after his demise I think security situation can be calm, also the more effort being asserted by the county police forces Director Collonel Gatwech Chuol (otherwise known as Gatwech Nyaguor) is to be appreciated because he is making the security that is police forces to be alert throughout.
Another thing which needs to be address by your leadership is a issue of hundreds head of cattle raided recently by our neibouring brothers, because if you and your counterpart in that county are not systematically going to look into such a case the security deterioration shall be anticipated or occur between the two counties. Again, it would also be better if you could try your perservance best and find some possible measures to remove the traditional weapons (spears) from the hands of our youth who still have primitive beliefs in minds.
5- Economy and the social situations is undescribable, I can just say it is now ranging from bad to worse I mean to say our people are really starving and are just living from hand to mouth, especially those who have got no jobs. As you can know that cultivations of last year did not harvested due to the flood caused by too much rainfalls which destroyed all crops. Hence, what you must do is to call upon the National Government and the international humanitarian agencies(NGOs) to intervent as soon as possible by taking in the food and fishing nets only.
So, I hope what Mr Bol Gok’s pre-succeessor had been doing will not happen again. However, I would like to call upon the Fangak county Businessmen on the top is Mr Matai Ruei to alternatively help the ordinary people of Fangak county in one way or another, Because a sack of sorghum (dura) now in the county can be buy at the prices of 55o SSP with a frequent increases every day, therefore I don’t think that a jobless head of the family will be able to buy a sack of dura which may cost 1000 SSP in the months to come.
6- Infrastructures, would have been enjoyed by our people in the county as part of peace dividends if provided to them but not, only three primary schools i e Wanglel, Old Fangak(Mareang not completed) and Paquir primary schools which were constructed by Mr John Kong Nyuon with constituency development funds(CDF) when representing the county in the then Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly(SSLA) 2005-2010, and I can say well done Mr John Kong for you had done a very great job, the history of our county will never forget you.
Apart from these three schools is a Fangak county civil hospital and one school built in early 2000s by the defunct regional government by the time known as Coordinating Council for Southern States(CCSS). Now because we have three independent Governments in place I would like to recommend the rehabilitation of the old roads network that is the roads which used to connect Bentiu, Ayod county and Malakal to Old Fangak. And, I know once these roads are connected economy can be run smoothly even the social life could be easy understand in our county.
Moreover, I strongly rejected and I will remain challenging the opinion or suggestion which said resources can be collected from the needy traditional chiefs in form of cattle or alternatively each headchief is charges to pay (22,560 i e twenty two millions five hundred and sixty SSP) for the rehabilitation of the above mentioned roads, if you can just multiply 22,560 times 20, because there are about twenty head chiefs in Fangak county how much it gives you? Ok won’t these chiefs and their people run out of cattle by taking their cows to the market in an attempt to get this millions of SSP requested by your(or theirs that they expected to give them something instead) government? Therefore, Mr Commissioner this proposal should be reverse for once and for all because the people themselves are starving and dying with hunger including these chiefs. That is why all the Fangak county intellectuals including yourself have been calling the concerned authorities for help to our people.
Hereupon, your government can alternatively utilizes and encourage the developmental step being planned by our Honorable MPs both in the National and State level in which they would like to go to the county with a CDF of 2010-2012 accumulated so that these roads can be rehabilitate with it(the CDF).
Lastly and not least, the communication network erected at New Fangak the county Headquarter must be repaired to meet the standard of the other networks because the network for communication is one of the services deserve by the people from their government. Even, the county sons/daughters who are now working for our beloved country’s government at every corner of South Sudan cannot properlly communicate with their families.
In conclusion and summary, I would like to recommend the following points which I intuitively realized as the only main challenges facing your Administration in particular and Fangak county community as a whole and the recommendations are:-
1- Recruitment of more Teachers as well as Doctors and be given their salaries in the state.
2- Call upon both National Government and international NGOs to help our starving people.
3- Rehabilitation of roads which can in turn make the economy easier to the people.
4- Show and orientate the SSAF, SSPS and other different institutions about their respective duties or functions.
5- Consider or balance the prices being raised by local traders.
6- Takes a quick decision against any security challenges/threat if there is any.
Finally, I would also like to call on the Fangak County’s Chairman and the county’s representatives MPs to swiftly join the commissioner for the implementation of the above recommendations or embark on every thing possible to help the ordinary people of Fangak County.
The writer is a Fangak county citizen, currently living in Juba and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org