President of Southern Sudan Launches Clean-Up of Juba Mon, Nov 23, 2009

On Monday, Salva Kiir, President of Southern Sudan, launched a major clean-up initiative in Juba, declaring a public holiday.

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Juba, 23 November 2009 - On Monday, Salva Kiir, President of Southern Sudan, launched a major clean-up initiative in Juba, declaring a public holiday. He was accompanied in picking up the first pieces of litter by His Excellency the Minister for the Environment of Southern Sudan, and the UK Ambassador, Dr Rosalind Marsden.

Over 16,000 volunteers are taking to the streets to tackle the growing health hazard caused by public dumping of waste in the town. The clean-up has attracted enthusiastic support from all major organisations based in Juba, including the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), wildlife, police and prisons services, all UN agencies and UNMIS, as well as the students and residents of Juba themselves.

With the rapid growth of the city and the absence of a sustainable waste management system, the people of Juba have endured repeated fatal outbreaks of cholera, waterborne diseases and malaria. This clean-up is the first step towards creating a safe and healthy environment in which Juba's citizens can live and work.

The clean-up is part of a £1 million UN Environment Programme (UNEP) project, funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). It constitutes the first step in building a sustainable waste management system for Juba.

Ambassador Marsden said, "I am delighted to be here to launch, and take part in the clean-up of Juba today. The UK is playing a leading role in addressing climate change internationally, but we also recognise the importance of supporting national and local initiatives to improve management of the environment here in Sudan. Juba's growth in the last few years has been impressive, but the systems to improve waste management have lagged behind. I am delighted to see the commitment of so many people in Juba today to making Juba a better and healthier place. And I look forward to seeing this good work taken forward in the coming months."

Speaking from UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Achim Steiner, Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, said "UNEP thanks the United Kingdom and DFID Sudan for supporting the environmental agenda there. The Juba clean-up marks the start of a broader and more far-reaching effort aimed at boosting the management of economically-important natural resources and delivering sustainable development to the people of the region. It also takes forward UNEP's collaboration with Sudan to improve environmental management as a prerequisite for sustainable development."

Notes to Editors:

After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was requested to conduct a Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment of Sudan. The report (http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/UNEP_Sudan.pdf) assesses water, agriculture, forests, desertification and natural disasters, wildlife, the marine environment, industrial pollution, the urban environment, environmental governance and the role of environmental pressures in Sudan's conflicts.

Building on the recommendations from this assessment, DFID is funding a three-year, £20 million programme with UNEP and UNOPS to support efforts to build peace on an environmentally sustainable basis and to improve the management of natural resources. The programme will fund activities across Sudan, including:

  • Technical support to the Government of South Sudan to manage its forestry and other valuable natural resources sustainably.

  • Improving management of water resources in Darfur. UNOPS will build or rehabilitate six dams, benefiting 300,000 people.

  • A city-wide clean up campaign in Juba on 23 November 2009, involving 16,000 volunteers. This will be followed by putting in place waste management capacity for the long term.

For more information, please contact:

Robin Bovey, UNEP Programme Manager, on Tel: +249 912 322883 or email: robin.bovey@unep.org

Or;

Dave Beer, DFID Programme Manager, on Tel: +249 912 501156 or email: d-beer@dfid.gov.uk

 
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