By Parach Mach, Juba
In 2011 when she emerged as first Miss South Sudan to win Miss World Africa in 62 years of Miss World History and won in a coveted Miss World Africa prize, also known as the “African Continental Queen of Beauty”, Atong de Mach is back on the scene. She
managed to create history by representing South
Sudan for the first time after the country shortly achieved independent in 2011. She is now a public relation officer with Japan International cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as model.
However, at first in 2011, not many people gave her a fair chance. Indeed, the residents of Juba kept
asking too many questions: “Who is she? Where is she coming from? What will she do after many have been crowned yet nothing tangible?” These were some of the questions that greeted her emergence as Miss World South Sudan.
As event would later show, her choice was not
misplaced and indeed Atong DeMach had actualized many things, some of them were quiet ordinary but the fact that people had lived with their impossibility for decades meant that they were not ordinary.
Recently Atong DeMach took to Juba’s Streets with Japanese contingent forces leading the cleaning up campaign at Juba-Nabari road, a road, which was constructed through the grant donation of Japanese government and implemented by JICA
Atong said cleaning of environment could lure people senses into awareness. “Some among us may be
influenced to heed reason, to find a way to right
attitude toward environment,” she said.
According to DeMach if Juba residents fail to keep the city clean, the waste level will grow exponentially in the city over the next few years. Even if South
Sudanese invest heavily in waste management, it will be very difficult for the nation to maintain and keep pace with deteriorating condition. Therefore, citizens need innovative approaches for waste management options.
“It is very challenging in South Sudan, but some of the best and clean cities I had travelled look very nice and I always felt Juba should be in the same way, as somebody in the forefront of change; my contribution would be to educate people on the benefits of clean environment and its health hazards when left unchecked,” she stressed
De Mach said South Sudanese need to act now and seize this opportunity to seal a deal that is fair, that is ambitious and that is binding before it is too late,
saying people have the power to turn this around.
She further stressed that the duty of every citizens is to engage in state building in whatever ways by
enhancing collaboration, promote coordination and create partnerships, so that the county can secure clean environment for the present and future generations.
As a country, there is need to create the right
incentives to attract private investment into areas such as sanitations and waste management, waste recycling and water storage and conservation solutions. We do appreciate that if we were to fail and the waste in our city continues to grow faster than our maintenance, it is our environment, our society and our economy that will suffer. Proactive action is desirable and we have to take that action as stakeholders.
With the large number of supporters and well-wishers that followed as she made her way to the stardom in 2011, it is an evident that Atong DeMach, no doubt, would set a new beginning in the face of Juba city through hygiene.