SUDAN: Rauda Ayub, “Life will improve when we have roads and a hospital”
KARKARAYA, 16 December 2008 (IRIN) - Rauda Ayub, 28, returned to her village in Karkaraya, about 30km from the main town of Kadugli in the state of South Kordofan in 2003 after spending most of her life in the Nuba mountains, also in the state, during the civil war. South Kordofan is a region characterised by a lack of development, poor infrastructure and restricted access to healthcare or basic services. Ayub, a mother of four, talked to IRIN about her experience as a returnee.
"Before, in the mountains, we were living in caves. We came down after the war ended, expecting to find water and hospitals because finally there was peace but we found nothing. No hospitals, no water; we were not happy about this.
"Even now, five years later, a lot has not changed. We do not even have latrines and for a woman it is not good to go to the forest, but we have no choice.
"We also have only one borehole for all of us in the village.
"Children are suffering, especially during the rainy season when we cannot go to Kadugli. All the roads here are [waterlogged] and we cannot go anywhere for months.
"We need a medical centre here because for the women it is really bad. During childbirth there are no trained people to help us here. None of my four children was born at the hospital.
"When I had my last baby I gave birth at home with the help of an old woman from the village. There were some problems as there was no one to cut and tie the umbilical chord.
"By the time I was able to see a doctor in Kadugli after a month, he said I was okay but that my baby was sick.
"I am happy that at least my baby was treated but I heard in the other village a woman died while giving birth.
"When I have my next baby I would like to have a trained person to help. Also, a woman who gave birth at the hospital in Kadugli told us that it is better to give birth in a hospital.
"Although now it is peaceful we are also worried about food. The harvest was not very good this year. We are worried that the food we have will not last until the next rainy season [May-June].
"We are relying on the sorghum we have for now, hoping that things will improve. Although we are happy to be home after so many years away, life will become better here one day when we have roads and a hospital."