IRNA Mandeng, Nassir County
IRNA Mandeng, Nassir County
According to ROSS Sobat, the total population of Returnees to Nasir County amounts to 64,966 persons or 12,000HHs between December 2018 and 3 March 2019. For a table with a breakdown of the number of returnees per payam based upon a December 2018 ADRA assessment, further complemented by more recently captured data by ROSS at Burebiey, Mandeng and Jikmir entry points from 17 December 2018 until 3 March 2019. See Annex 4 for a returnee population breakdown by payam. The IRNA team could observe a continued influx of returnees at the three border crossing-points during its assessment from 23 – 27 March 2019.
Most of the returnees in Nasir county [Sobat county] have come back from Gambella in Ethiopia, with only a few who have returned from Sudan and other places. The returnees have been integrated into the local communities, by their own family or relatives if back in their own area of origin, and by far relatives or strangers of the Nuer community if in transit with the plan to move on to their places of origin (mostly in the Nassir or Malakal area) once security would allow for such a return. Returnees are adamant about not returning to the Ethiopian refugee camps, because they no longer feel safe there and feel that they have a better future now back in South Sudan.
The host community schools in Nasir county are very congested with voluntary teachers most often not trained in life skills and psycho-social support. One of the two Education partners (ADRA) active in Nasir county has discontinued its support to schools since the last three months. TADO is an education partner in Nasir County and has an active PCA in Wanding (Ulang County), supporting 4 schools. TADO education officer also was involved in the assessment together with the UNICEF colleague.
There are two static Shelter/NFI partners and one mobile partner in Mandeng (Nile Hope, Tado, and SSUDA respectively). The mentioned agencies all participated in the recent IRNA in Mandeng and its surrounding areas. The presence of returnees across all the assessed areas was confirmed as some of the returnees interviewed have proof of registration for the camps where they previously settled in Ethiopia.
The number of the returnees in the assessed locations is large and may be equal to or has surpassed the number of the host community members. The area continues to receive returnees. On average, a shelter (tukul) accommodates eight people or more, and there are 2-3 shelters per household in Mandeng and its periphery.
The markets in assessed locations have no stock of NFIs such as plastic sheeting, cooking sets, blankets, and mosquito nets. Harvested shelter materials can be seen in the households of the host community but not in the market which are grass, reeds, and poles. The host community and returnees are currently sharing kitchen sets as well which is creating strain as resources are being stretched.
Access to the shelter materials is difficult especially since much of it is found in far locations. The distance to travel is long (5-7 hours round trip), there is fear of insecurity due to cattle raiding, there are a lack of tools for gathering, and the shelter items are expensive to purchase if bought from the host community (who travel via boat to procure them).
River transport is the main available means of transport in the Sobat corridor to areas along the river bank. A helicopter landing/fixed wing landing site is available in Mandeng while the one in Jikmir is specifically for helicopters, mostly used during the dry season which would be beneficial for NFI delivery and subsequent distribution.