Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 18 May 2012

Juba: ‘Filthy’ is an understatement

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By Steven Wöndu

May 17, 2012 — President Salva Kiir was being polite on May 16th when he said Juba was a filthy habitat. The truth of the matter is that Juba is not only dirty; it is dangerous and much worse. People disappear without trace. Citizens cannot call for police help because the streets have no numbers or names. Homes and buildings have no numbers or addresses. The security personnel cannot radio for backup in pursuit of a suspect because of the lack of street names and numbers. It is even impossible to direct a guest to a house by phone. Telling someone to turn left after passing the brown dog is useless. This is despite the fact that Juba is well planned with adequate provision for streets. There is no credible explanation for the chaos.

Garbage collection is not rocket science. We do not need Professor Albert Einstein’s intervention. We need not invent our own model of waste management either. We only have to do what other urban authorities do. Make a law or regulation that requires every landlord or tenant to display the number of the property in a specified manner at the entrance. Failure to comply would attract a hefty fine. Make another law or regulation that requires every household or office to buy a rubbish bin supplied by the authorities. Days of collection are agreed between the authorities and the contractor. Again, failure to comply is punishable. The town has already been cleverly zoned out. There is money to be made through the scheme of waste management. Let us award contracts, in a fair competitive manner, to several garbage collectors for Munuki, Kator, Hai Tarawa, Hai Jalaba, Rujal Mafi, Hai Mayo, Tonyping etc. I’ll have a word about these names later.

There is no reason I can think of why we do not have a scientifically safe treatment for the rubbish we generate. Pouring it on the Yei Road is like relocation trash from the bedroom to the living room. If we cannot invest in public hygiene, we cannot call ourselves an urban authority.

One year into our independence, we have not thought of indigenizing our names. We have decided to keep the name ‘Sudan’. But that does not mean we also have to retain all other Arabic names. Central Equatoria State got rid of ‘Bahr el Jebel’. We are looking forward to the return of Western Upper Nile. If you ask me, I would indigenize the names of areas like Buluk, Mayo, Jalaba etc. Someone told me that Nzara was Zande for Ansar. If true I would ask Western Equatoria State to change that.

Professor Peter Tingwa can speak for himself but I remember him telling me that there was need to ensure that we, the indigenous citizens of this country, must retain our names. Ideally, we should dump the European and Arab names adopted to indicate that we are Christians or Muslims. My neighbour Deng Alor and many others in the Dinka and Nuer communities have done it. Most people find it difficult to emulate his example but a compromise is always available. Let everyone be limited to only one foreign name if he/she so desires on the basis of human rights. Let us not have Mary John, Joseph Edward, Doctor Cook, Joyce Joseph, Mohammed Jibril, Abdelrahman Ibrahim, Awadia Morris. All these people do have real African family names, but for some twisted logic of inferiority, strange names are preferred. If we cannot rescue the current generation from this kind of domination, can our education system save the next by requiring children to register in their real family names in schools?

This takes me back to President Salva Kiir’s mild criticism of the state of affairs in Juba. One disaster I wish he knew is that two of our school campuses are now walled in by shops. The former Juba Girls Secondary School, renamed after Dr John Garang, is now a market. The entire campus of former Mahad Intermediate School, later used by the occupying Sudan Army mechanized division, is now a commercial warehouse. The cemetery nearby is now an industrial park. As Dr John Garang would say, I am not making it up. That, Mr President, is the Juba we live in; filthy, stinky, dangerous, chaotic, confused, no protection of children and no respect whatsoever for graves.

The author is the former Sudanese Ambassador to Japan



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  • 18 May 2012 06:35, by Zionist

    Almost one year into independence and our flag still resembles that of old Sudan accept for the yellow star which in return resembles the star in the Cuban flag. However, only one Pan-African colour is present in our flag (Red). We’re supposed to be united under one flag as one African nation with different ethnic groups, and with no group being left out, but are we?

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  • 18 May 2012 07:48, by Loko El Pollo

    CENTRAL EQUATORIA GOVERNOR SHOULD HAVE DONE THE THINGS YOU HAD MENTIONED.MR WONDU YOU MAY CHANGE EVERYTHINGS BUT PLEASE DO NOT MESS WITH THE NAME NZARA.IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANSAR OR WHATEVER SHIT IT MIGHT MEANS.NZARA IS A BEAUTIFUL NAME THAT SHOULD BE KEPT.RUJAL MAFI CITY CODING WOULD HAVE BEEN A PIORITY BUT BECAUSE OF GREED,EVERYONE IS CAUGHT UP IN STEALING AND STASHING AWAY OF THE LOOTS.

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    • 18 May 2012 09:46, by Akook

      Mr Amb., these issues aren’t the current priorities in the state of affairs we are in now. Juba is so messy, you and Pres are right in that observation. However, you fail to mention Juba is messy not because anything else but coruption only. European or Arabic names aren’t practically anything to block our independence.its ironic too when you quote John Garang or Salva with their European names..

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      • 18 May 2012 09:55, by Akook

        You should start with your bosses including Salva to change that name. Ahmed Deng Alor, you cited as a good example changed his names in the movement though its still in his certificate now becoz he knows that didn’t go well with majority then since we were fighting inslamists. Plus not to confirm so much the perception of many people over his grandfathers sold-away of the Abyei lands & people

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      • 18 May 2012 09:57, by Akook

        pathetic history, isn’t?

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    • 18 May 2012 23:45, by Born-to-Rule

      Loko El Pollo,

      Sorry due, no one can understand your comment(s). Is your comment a translation from what language. Then you veered off to insults wish you can’t prove. You need to address the article and stay with program. What’s the heck is "NZARA", is that Congo-list name?. Please explain your comment one more time dude!.

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      • 19 May 2012 13:34, by Loko El Pollo

        SORRY MAN I WAS TALKING SPECIFICALLY TO THE WRITTER,HE KNEW EXACTLY WENT I LEFT NZARA UNDEFINED.NZARA IS A NAME OF A TOWN IN CENTRAL EQUATORIA WHICH IT’S NAME HE PURPORTED TO HAVE BEEN DERIVED FROM ANSAR.ANSAR IS A RELIGIOUS SECT FROM ISLAMIC CULT.FOR ME NZARA SOUND LIKE KISWAHILI,WHICH MEANS SCENERY.THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A RUBBISH AS YOU DUBBED IT TO BE,HE JUST WENT A LITTLE OVERBOARD OTHERWISE THE

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        • 19 May 2012 13:42, by Loko El Pollo

          HE HAD MENTIONED,LIKE STREETS NAMINGS,ELECTRONIC TELEPHONES CODINGS ARE COMPLEX BUT IMPORTANT.HE SAID BUSINESSES OR RESIDENCIALS SHOULD BE GIVEN NUMBERS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR POLICE TO RESPOND TO ANY CIVIL DISTURBANCES IN ANY HOODS IN AND AROUND THE TOWNS.HE DID NOT SAID THAT PLACES SOULD NOT BE NAME AFTER THE LIBERATORS AS YOU GEORGE MISUNDERSTOOD.

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      • 19 May 2012 14:14, by Loko El Pollo

        BORN-TO RULE:DON’T BE DEFENSIVE IF THIS GOVERNMENT IS CRITIZE.WHEN THEY WERE IN THE BUSH,THEIR MANTRA FOR FIGHTING WAS MARGINALIZATION OF THIER PEOPLE.THEN AFTER THEY HAD ACHIEVED THEIR GOAL,NOW THEY ARE SEEN AS ONLY OPPORTUNISTS BECAUSE WHAT THE PREACHED IS THE OPPOSITES OF WHAT THEY HAVE DONE WITH THE BILLIONS THAT WAS GIVEN TO THEM BY KHARTOUM.CAN’T YOU LOOK AROUND AND SEE PEOPLE BEING EMPLOY

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        • 19 May 2012 14:19, by Loko El Pollo

          BY THEIR RELATIVES.LET SAY IF YOUR CLAN HAVE NO BIG MAN IN A POSITION WHERE HE CAN FIND YOU A JOB.WHERE ELSE WILL YOU FIND A JOB EVEN IF YOU HAVE A DEGREE.THIS NATION WILL FAIL AS PEOPLE ONLY SUPPORT THEIR INTERESTS.

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          • 19 May 2012 22:55, by panom lualbil

            LOKO EL POLLO, man reading your comments is a pain in your ass, bro ! Because you capitalized all, it’s very difficult to distinguish where you start or where you stop. You’re really a ’fucking crazy checken’ like your name means, doggy.

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            • 20 May 2012 13:20, by Loko El Pollo

              OMG!!!! WHO IN THE HELL SENT ME THESE TWO APES TO QUESTIONED MY WRITINGS.PANHOMLUALBIL,PLEASE TAKE YOUR ENGLISH TO THE CLINIC FOR TREATMENT.YOUR ENGLISH-AMHARIC YOU USE ON THIS WEB IS DISGUSTING AND HUMOROUS AT WORSE.FIX THE COMMENT YOU WROTE LAST FRIDAY UNDER JONGLEI NEWS,WHEN MURLE ROGUE KILLED ONE OF TWIC RESIDENT.MY ENGLISH IS NEITHER THE BEST OR THE WORSE ON THE SITE.AS A MATTER OF,YOUR

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              • 20 May 2012 13:30, by Loko El Pollo

                UNDERSTANDING CAPACITY IS DETERMINED BY YOUR LEVEL OF EDUCATION.YOU CAN’T EXPECT TO UNDERSTAND A THING OR TWO IF YOU ARE UNDERGRADUATE OR SOMEONE WHO JUST PAST BY A UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS.BE GENTLE,DON’T CALL ME NAMES JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T UNDERSTAND MY COMMENTS.I HAVE PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING YOUR ENGLISH,BUT I DO GET YOUR POINTS IN THE END.CALLING ME CHICKEN-HEAD,CRAZY,ASS IS UNWARRANTED.

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  • 19 May 2012 00:14, by Born-to-Rule

    Mr. Steven Wöndu,

    I strongly disagree with you, so what Africans adopted Europeans, and Arabs names. Not that I cared, everyone should be free to chose what the name(s) they wish. It’s none your business or anyone to tell anyone what name the should use.

    With all due respect to you sir, your entire article is a waste of time. I am sorry to bust your bubbles or rain on your party.

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  • 19 May 2012 03:22, by George Bol

    This author fail to convince the public why some names are important than the others.In a democratic society, you have the right to chose your wonderful that fit you. I total believed that this author is not after the names propose in the Juba city but he was very jealous because some street are name after historical people from different tribes. Don’t you see how tribalism affect our country?

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    • 19 May 2012 10:41, by Good Citizen

      Dear Amb.Wondu ( i omit steven for the same reasons),
      this is a very excellent article you have written especially on the part regarding our African identity.it is something that shouldn’t just be talked but be implemented to realize its importance.Arabs and others put a lot of resources to ensure that African identity is changed to their liking.i therefore agree that every community in south....

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  • 19 May 2012 10:48, by Good Citizen

    therefore, agree that every community in south sudan must go back to its roots and preserve our African identity.am always disgusted to hear foreign names of our officials, very insulting names of places, things,etc.please inform the government registrar,hospitals,schools and tribal chiefs to ensure that our cultural names are restored and our self esteem enhanced.thanks for ur advice on juba city

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  • 19 May 2012 10:56, by Good Citizen

    am from Equatoria but i like the way Dinka and Nuer preserve their cultural names even though some few have succumbed to foreign names.Missionary work affected Equatoria the great deal but it’s never too late.please Amb. wondu, would you mind writing more on this topic if time allow?

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  • 20 May 2012 12:50, by mawan

    As you have raised the important problem of foreign names among us, can I address you as Wondu instead of Steven?

    Your are right in both respects:

    - Ones names is ones identity! Did we not fight the ’Arabs’ to defend our identity?
    - If we cannot manage Juba, how could we deal with RSS as a Whole?

    Juba was “gleaming” last July! Where is the mayor?

    I will now sign off as Mawan (not Thomas)!

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