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No electricity and it’s dripping hot…

Good UK sessions this morning to talk more about finance and programme matters.  I was very encouraged that the additional funding had recently been secured to fully fund the budget with an agreed underwritten amount of £0.5 million. This has been at a real cost to our work as, in the last two years, we’ve cut back our office numbers from 30 to 11, with the consequential reductions in staffing.  What we have now is a country programme on a firm footing – good news!

The UK work is focused around education and hunger relief with a limited amount of protection work, which is all in the context of a post-conflict programme. We will see the practical side of this on our programme visit tomorrow.  The education work is largely focussed on Rewrite the Future. Based on the Ministry of Education specifications we built five schools last year and continue our teacher training – this training is a real differentiator for us.

In hunger relief we do income security and as part of our water and sanitation work we have drilled bore holes – we should soon see these on the programme visit.  We still do some family tracing and unification work but this is thankfully declining.

It was great to meet the motivated office team in Juba and was really grateful that they gave up their Sunday to come in.  Most of the team live in guest houses near to the office on the eight week on and two weeks off rest and relaxation basis.

It is extremely expensive in Juba –just about everything has to be brought in by road or air (normally from Uganda and Kenya) and the market forces of the aid agency community drives up prices.  Water is brought in by truck from the Nile.  You can get everything you need in the large markets.  There is no electricity network at the moment and all power is produced from generators (with brought in diesel) – this creates a constant noise in some places!

It is dripping hot today…

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