Photo by Setyo Budi, UNAMID.
Rockero, 5 November 2018 – Significant improvements in the security situation in Rockero town, Central Darfur, have paved way for development and created room for the United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to start projects that will benefit the community.
To consolidate the gains of the prevailing peace and stability, UNAMID plans to embark on various projects in the locality. Several assessments have been conducted to establish the community’s priority needs, with the most recent assessment being from 8 to 10 October 2018.
The Mission has already started rehabilitating the road from Golo to Rockero, while plans are underway to start building a hospital, school and community center in the area by end of the year 2018. During a meeting with community leaders in Rockero town, UNAMID Governance and Community Stabilization Officer, Newton Mutunga, said the school project would create employment opportunities for the local population, as 30 people would be employed to work on the construction.
Rockero Locality Commissioner, Adam Yahya outlined some of the challenges facing the community. Currently, he said, there are 34 primary and secondary schools in the area, although only 27 are functional. Some of the schools do not have latrines and are located far from the residential area. As a result, some students have to walk up to 3.5 km to school.
“Many primary school students are often late for lessons, because they live far from the school and we don’t have a school feeding programme,” he said, adding that the shortage of teachers was also a challenge.
In villages around Rockero such as Aru and Lugu, Mr. Yahya said high school students have to travel to Rockero town, about 15 km away as there are no secondary schools in the villages.
Despite these challenges, students are enthusiastic about their studies and eager to learn. During the most recent assessment mission to Rockero, UNAMID observed students in uniform walking to schools on steep mountainous terrain. The walk to school is even more challenging during the rainy season.
About 265,000 people live in Rockero town and surrounding villages, 53,000 of whom are reported to have returned from Tawila and Sortoni internally displaced persons’ camps between 2017 and 2018.