Local volunteers unload the supplies from the back of the helicopter of a UNICEF Rapid Response Mission (RRM) in New Fangkak, South Sudan on 21 July 2018. The supplies include tetanus vaccine and polio drops, plumpy nut, child protection items, education kits and WASH kits (UNICEF/James Elrington)
Local volunteers unload the supplies from the back of the helicopter of a UNICEF Rapid Response Mission (RRM) in New Fangkak, South Sudan on 21 July 2018. The supplies include tetanus vaccine and polio drops, plumpy nut, child protection items, education kits and WASH kits (UNICEF/James Elrington)

 

By: Ogeryath Oger

“If the guns are more valuable than the hoes, then retain them for World War III “

The days weren’t glorious but promising even the birds had a clue about the old days. My own land was beautiful and watered with hope and happiness of the great fertile lands. Even before the discovery of the luxurious minerals by those who imposed the harsh rules and cruel behaviors on us, the fertile land alone was more enough to breed on, cultivate on, dance on, feed on, live on and finally bury on. The fertile land was the only exposed resource watered freely and adequately by the waters from above falling from the merciful skies abundantly and excessively.

The amazing morning songs of the birds were the signals that a new day has descended upon us with fresh lives filled with blessings and the whisperings of the birds were the energies that motivated the prodigious men and the delightful women to take up the hoes and march hopefully and majestically towards the farmlands where the hopes were planted and extracted with no monetary expenditures at all. From the fertile land they collected water to cool their thirst, wash away the old self, prepare their own food and water their own farms. Poverty had no place and it didn’t exist in our own dictionary. Poverty was the state of being lazy and being a slave to laziness since the land provided wealth and treasures to all those who had their time on it.

But nowadays, there is no more land but grace from the one above; we are filled with questions that didn’t exist before and can’t find answers for. Why is poverty the talk of the day? Why does hunger rule? And why are the children malnourished and the mothers left exhausted from unending thoughts and fathers have gone crazy. During the old days, poverty was a taboo and if it was a person, it didn’t dwell in our communities. Based on our assumptions, poverty was somewhere in the desert we didn’t know or even existed close to.

The land that we have got can rescue us from the awful poverty that we are experiencing today in the republic of South Sudan. It is our own making that we have left the land for the barrels of crude oil that can never last for years to come and which haven’t built for us roads, schools and hospitals since we started drilling.  Poverty rules since the hoes have been replaced with the guns which can never cultivate my land. If the conflicts are staged on the land, then where shall we plant our seeds and produce food from.

No more land but grace indeed, my own people are dependent on foreign countries and Non-governmental Organizations for sorghum, wheat, oil and all types of grains that our land can produce. Nowadays the words have changed, the crowds used to call one another to trek to farmlands to cultivate hope and bright future but today “have they brought” is the phrase we always hear. It is the grace of God at work feeding innumerable people in our country today and if God sleeps, we aren't the source of hope anymore; shall we ease from the face of the earth?

However, as long as the birds continue to sing the great melodies of the day and the rains continue to abundantly fall, there is hope still in South Sudan. We must transfer the conflicts to the planet Mars if we wish to continue battling with one another and leave the fertile lands for the hoes and great masses to revive hope and survive for the remaining days. The government should equip the masses with hoes, tractors and seeds instead of guns and bullets and instead of forming militias to slaughter the innocent civilians, come up with great agriculturalists to eradicate widespread poverty all over the country. 

South Sudan is hope and from our own country we can extract whatever we desire for community development and poverty eradication. The conflicts have scared away our own people from their ancestral lands and innumerable societies abandoned agriculture that is why poverty rules to teeth. We should stand together and direct our eyes on our own land other than depending on the neighboring countries for what our land can provide us with.

“Oh awful politicians if you didn’t know, even your own militias and combatants need food when did the bullets become dates to survive on”

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