By Laz Sultan
One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that most youths in Western Equatoria State do not value their lives so much. The state authorities have been warning and advising them time and again to live positively so that they can contribute to the development of the state and the country as a whole but it seems to be in vain. Below are a few of the habits that are rapidly reducing the lifespan of the youths and making them less productive to the state and this country as a whole.
Smoking: It is true that youths in most of the states smoke, but in Western Equatoria they have gone a bit further by doing it excessively under the pretext of cold weather of the state thus the need to over smoke in order to keep warm forgetting the health hazards associated with smoking. More so it’s the literate youths who are associated with this. Health officials say quitting smoking at a youthful age can increase your lifespan by a decade or more, but do these youths really care?
Drinking: Like smoking, boys and girls, men and women are always trying to outcompete each other. They drink 27 with no clear source of income forgetting that excessive consumption causes a host of health problems. Advising a youth in this part of the country to drink moderately is like telling them that he isn’t a good drunkard, oh gosh! I think we need a heavenly intervention.
Negligence of protective gears: We all know that accidents are the leading killers in the world especially among the youths, but in a town like Yambio where vehicles are very few and a luxury that is hard to afford, most youths have turned to motorbikes that they always cause accident with especially on weekends. Many have forgotten that most motorbike deaths are as a result of head injury, but one can hardly see a motorcyclist wearing a helmet. In such a case do you really have to blame the government or the youths in case of death?
Marriage: This is what in many parts of South Sudan and Africa brings out recognition in society, but its only in this state where you can hardly witness a wedding ceremony if not none in a whole year. Boys like going for married women and vice versa. On the 23rd of August in Gangura Payam of Yambio county, a youthful boy (name with held) killed his friend using a machete because he found him in bed with his wife. This is one of the many examples of such cases in the state. So with no marriage plans, where do you think do the future lies for these youths?
Prostitution: This is a fact that everyone in South Sudan Knows that is leading in the rate of HIV/AIDS infection.If you happen to see the towns of Western Equatoria, people behave like there is no such thing like AIDS and they just go about with their prostitution business. Ashamingly the people involved in this are mostly South Sudanese. If you happen to pay a visit to Yambio town and want to prove it for yourself, just ask for a place called Sure Deal. The encouraging part of it is that most of the leaders be it from the government, religious and other sectors always don’t forget about reminding people about the fight against AIDS in any public gathering. Late last year all the churches in Western Equatoria launched a series of activities to sensitize the masses, but what still happens in the dark corners at night is never different. I hope we can avoid an explosion in years to come where people will be dying for fun from HIV/AIDS in years to come!
Besides the above, there are still many habits that we need to change in order to become productive to our beloved Western Equatoria and South Sudan.