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S Sudanese children demand a clean and green environment

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Friday, November 20, 2020

UNICEF Staff and Children during a garbage collection event in Juba - credit | UNICEF | Richard Ruati | November 18, 2020

Children in South Sudan have called for a clean and green environment for a better future this world children’s day, a statement by the UNICEF has said.

In the lead-up to World Children’s Day celebrated all over the world on Friday (20 Nov), children in South Sudan have raised awareness on the importance of a clean and green environment for a better future for all.

They (children) asked for urgent action to protect the environment and to help to slow down climate change.

Through Public Service Announcements on radio, blog posts, poems, and opinion pieces, children in Juba and throughout the States have called on the government to do more to secure that the country they are inheriting is healthy.

In a statement by UNICEF for World Children’s Day, the children have asked for a shift from generators to solar power, a halt in tree cutting and more tree planting, and for garbage collection to be systematized.

“Let us reduce the amount of plastic and waste produced and used in our daily lives and switch to using less but impacting more,” said Wendy Ahonda, a child reporter with UNICEF.

“There should be trash cans in public places and busy places to ensure proper disposal of the rubbish. We need to use clean resources for energy. South Sudan is a country blessed with abundant sunshine and the best and eco-friendly energy to be used is solar energy.”

The press release said a clean and green environment is everyone’s business and we all have a part to play in our communities.

UNICEF together with children on Wednesday also organized a garbage collection event in Juba to show how they can all contribute and raise awareness, a garbage collection event was arranged.

The children also organized a tree-planting event on World Children’s Day today on Friday to ensuring new trees in 14 schools in Juba which the schools and community will look after.

“It is encouraging to see how these children are role models for us adults,” says Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF South Sudan Representative.

“Too many people in South Sudan have suffered this year due to severe flooding which is one of the many signs of climate change. We have no time to lose. Indeed, we must act now, and I’m pleased to see the future leaders of this country leading the way.”

Today on Friday, a child has taken over the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare for the day.

Within the week, children have been running the UNICEF South Sudan office and the Ministry of Environmental. They (Children) also have also taken over radio stations in Juba.

“As these takeovers might seem symbolic, they are important reminders of who we are handing the world over to. Actions today will have an impact tomorrow,” added a statement by the UNICEF.

“Today I have the pleasure to lead the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare side by side with Moses, a 13-year-old child reporter with UNICEF,” said Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Aya Warille.

“It is a refreshing experience to work with young people like Moses,” said the minister about a child who visited her in the office early today.

“Moses taught me new insights and ideas about many things, including climate change and how it impacts on the lives of children like him.”

The children have defined a set of advocacy calls for a clean and green environment for a better future for South Sudan.

“The earth does not stop at our generation because more children are born every second,” said Wendy Ahonda.

“Imagine being born into something your community could have stopped decades before and now you have to suffer the impact of something you cannot control at your age. That is a scenario we all wish to never experience. If we act now, we can prevent further damage. The right time is now.”

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