By S/Lt Ezekiel Ako, Bentiu, South Sudan

Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Battalion (GHANBATT 7) at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has undertaken a clean-up exercise, to mark International Hygiene Day, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site at Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan.

The clean-up exercise, codenamed EXERCISE SWEET BENTIU, took place on Saturday, 4th May, 2019 and served a dual purpose, firstly as part of the GHANBATT’s civilian/military cooperation (CIMIC) and secondly, the International Hygiene Day, which fell on May 5th, 2019.

The Clean-Up exercise which was the first phase of “Exercise Sweet Bentiu”, was aimed at creating environmental awareness for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and hygienic condition around troops’ deployed areas.

The Commanding Officer (CO) of GHANBATT 7, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Antwi Awuah Darkwa, stated that protection of civilians includes environmental, social and economic security, among others and further indicated that the gesture of his Battalion was to additionally show love for the people of the PoC site and care for their hygienic conditions.

The CO reiterated that the exercise was meant to instill good hygiene values in the IDPs, which were critical for their transformation and development and further registered his appreciation and satisfaction of the warm reception by the PoC chairperson – Mr. Peter Koy Diu – and his people, especially the youth, for embracing the concept.

On the UN Green Development Goal, the CO encouraged the people to develop the attitude of adding to nature’s beauty and that when deliberate efforts are made to plant flowers and trees, they will grow and ensure a conducive atmosphere for work and living.

The Chairperson for the PoC site, expressed his profound gratitude to GHANBATT for the good initiative and said that the exercise will go a long way to decrease the prevalence of outbreak of diseases during the rainy season.

Mr Diu promised to engage his people to continue the good work GHANBATT has exposed them to and used the opportunity to appeal to UNMISS to offer them the needed assistance to help them sustain the initiative.

Troops of GHANBATT 7 were in joyous and enthusiastic mood as they cleaned the camp and were grateful to be part of the exercise as part of their contribution to the community they serve.

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