A road that leads to hope

A road that leads to hope

Featured on the ICN website

Greetings from Naturomoe Prince of Peace Catholic Mission. We wish to share with you the progress of the road construction to Naita. This is an essential connector project for the communities of southwest Ethiopia, northwest Kenya, and eastern Equatoria state in South Sudan. The main aim is to bring peace and development to isolated communities based around the Naita range that have suffered from conflict and marginalization for decades. This project has been one of our main priorities since the members of the Missionary Community of St Paul started working almost 10 years ago in Nyangatom. We intend to give access to basic social-pastoral services to the people. The work is about to reach its goal, as we can see the Naita Mountain very close by.

Constant meetings with the local people and the leaders of the Nyangatom Woreda (local government) have been very important to ensure that the work is efficient, and security is provided for the sugar factory Omo 5 bulldozer and its operators. In a recent meeting with the local community of Lotuko, a Ngikoporea was very encouraging. The people are willing to cooperate with the mission and the local government in whatever it takes, to bring the road project to fulfillment.

One can tell from the excitement of the people that they have longed for something very fundamental in their lives. They are hopeful of getting socio-pastoral services with the completion of the project. The people believe that before the road was opened, they never existed. It is now that they know they exist because they are able to see people coming to them. Speaking in one of the encounters, an elder emphasized that the opening of the road will help to bring peace among three conflicting communities namely; Turkana (of Kenya), Toposa (South Sudan), and Nyangatom (Ethiopia). He said in a very emotional manner: “We have been hearing about the coming of the road for the past 10-15 years. Now I am very sure that we will have access to socio-pastoral services such as health, water, education, and pastoral attention. Before the road was started it was like we never existed. We were forgotten and is like we never existed. I am very happy today because I know that we exist as human beings. We can see people coming closer to us”.

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