DDG paving the way for food distribution in South SudanThe swift response of Danish Demining Group’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team enabled access to food-drop zone for over 23,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and local residents in South Sudan.
In the village of Din Din, Unity State, South Sudan, the World Food Programme (WFP) had to delay the distribution of food to over 23,000 IDPs and local residents because of an explosive hazard that was identified in one of their food air-drop zones. The item was located during a search before the scheduled air-drop and led to the suspension of the desperately needed delivery of food until the item had been cleared.
After the item was reported to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), Danish Demining Group (DDG) was tasked to respond to remove and dispose of the explosive hazard.
‘’We were notified about the suspected item on a Saturday – on Sunday our EOD team managed to clear and destroy the item”, says William Maina, DDG Operations Manager in South Sudan. After clearing the item, the food-drop zone was surveyed for further hazards. During the same day, the 15,200 m2 air-drop zone was established clear from explosive threats and WFP was able to continue their life saving assistance to IDPs and host communities.
‘’DDG’s work is contributing to the overall humanitarian response in South Sudan, by enabling safe access of the other humanitarian organization’s life saving interventions’’, says William Maina. DDG has done similar EOD spot tasks for the benefit of the broader humanitarian response. In July 2017, DDG surveyed and cleared another WFP food air-drop zone in Leer town, enabling the distribution of food to 14,000 IDPs and local residents.
On top of the famine that has been declared in South Sudan since 2017, conflict has ravaged the country for years. The dire situation has left many people displaced in their own country, leading to an increased pressure on host communities. Din Din and Leer town are both located along the frontline, which has witnessed a heavy contamination of explosives remnants of war due to the ongoing civil conflict.
DDG’s clearance activities in the area are highly focused on creating safe movement for IDPs and host communities. Clearing corridors for women to safely access water points and enabling returnees to safely return to their original homes in some of the locations where conflict has ceased. DDG South Sudan also conducts risk education sessions to both IDPs, host communities as well as other humanitarian actors.