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John Maliah Bakiam Story

John Maliah Bakiam is a married man with 2 wives and 9 children, age 59 years old and is residing in Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in POC 3, Zone G, Block 3. He was born in Bentiu, Unity State, Republic of South Sudan.

Personal Background

“Before being displaced to UNMISS POC in Juba, I have been displaced for more than 5 times for example we were displaced from Bentiu to Rubkona and again we were displaced from Rubkona we went to Leer. There are lots of challenges currently here in the POCs. For instance, my roof is very old and has developed a lot of potholes. When it rains we are always being washed with the rain water.

Situation in POC

The amount of food given to us by WFP has been reduced, its makes us older people vulnerable to COVID 19 as we will have to go outside POCs to look for food”.

“There are awareness sessions going on about COVID 19 by different organizations and on the radios and at the service centres. We understand the danger of COVID 19 and the measures put in place by different organizations but we are lacking soaps as the ones given to us got finished”.

“My main fear of COVID 19 is that this disease is said to majorly kills older people it means that when it will enter POCs we, older persons will be at danger especially older persons like me who have chronic diseases (High Blood Pressure), although me personally, my close relatives or friends has not been affected by Coronavirus we are all at risk”.

“People are not completely barred or restricted from movement but the challenge is where you will go places are all closed, and movement is discouraged. However, there are people living here in the POCs who don’t have food ration cards and they depend on daily hustle outside POCs. These individuals are still moving to town and also people who do not have food in their houses they keep moving around to look for food”.

“This Coronavirus has affected my livelihood. I used to go outside POCs to do some labour work but now I am unable. You know COVID-19 has changed South Sudanese, everyone is afraid of the other because of the disease but the good thing is that it has promoted hygiene like washing hands which used to be a rare thing for some people”.

“Coronavirus remains my ultimate fear taking into consideration the level of health facilities we have in South Sudan that cannot manage COVID 19. I don’t know how one will cope up in case they are affected”.

“Media and organizations should continue with the awareness and government should continue to put measures in place ”.