The Integrated Development Organization (IDO), through support from friends of the organization, last week donated 278 bundles of bamboo to help in rebuilding all 164 shelters that were destroyed in the fire that broke out at Mahad IDPs Camp in the Konyo Konyo area, central Juba.
Other humanitarian organizations such as UNHCR, IOM and HDC donated the plastic sheets, ropes, blankets, cooking saucepans and sheets. The fire destroyed 164 homes affected over 800 individuals. Three days after the fire broke out, IDO provided clothes and shoes to those affected by the fire outbreak since most of them lost their clothes in the fire.
IDO is currently implementing an arts-based peacebuilding project in Mahad camp. We are working with 13 individuals, to create and share cultural films with members of other camps in efforts to build relations between conflict affected communities in Juba. Half of the project beneficiaries were affected by the fire.
One of the beneficiaries called Theresa said, “We were all at home when we heard a loud explosion. We all ran away without taking anything with us from the shelters. Recently we were given flour but it also caught fire. Now we have nothing, no food, and no clothes; all our clothes caught fire- including my school uniform. I am unable to go to school now because the last time I went to school I was chased away because I had no school uniform; I tried to explain my situation to the teacher but he failed to understand me.”
Dennis Akede said, “At the time of the fire outbreak I was at the river with my friends; only to see smoke. We ran back home to see what was happening and all we could see was fire. We lost all our property in that fire. Now I just remained with one clothe on my body.” Akede went on to say, “I am so happy with the distribution that was made today, the items that were distributed will really help us start our lives again; with the bamboo donated by IDO, we will be able to rebuild our shelters. I appreciate the organizations for standing with us.”
Immediately after the distribution was made, people started rebuilding their shelters after almost 2 weeks of sleeping outside.
Mahad camp is home to around 7,000 South Sudanese, mostly from (former) Jonglei and Upper Nile States, who arrived in February and March 2014. The conflict in South Sudan, which erupted in December 2013, has displaced more than 3 million individuals within and outside the country.