Swift, well-coordinated actions by different components of UNMISS saw two separate outbreaks of fire in the Bentiu protection of civilians site being taken care of without any resulting deaths or injuries. The fires, occurring over the weekend, destroyed a total of 117 shelters.
“The coordination between different components of UNMISS was really commendable and that was what made a timely and effective response possible,” says Anastasie Nyirigira, Acting Head of the UNMISS Bentiu Field Office.
As soon as the fire was reported, an integrated team consisting of members of the the Ghanaian military troops and Formed Police Unit, UN Police, Mongolian troops and UN Security personnel responded swiftly. They controlled the fire, and kept people safely away from it.
Adding to the achievement of those involved in the fire extinguishing operation is not only the fact that the shelters are made of fairly flammable materials but also the proximity between shelters in the very densely populated protection of civilians site.
Humanitarian actors also played an important part by assisting more than 1,700 affected internally displaced persons with temporary shelter, replacement registration and food coupons as well as the distribution of needed non-food items.
UNMISS has started an investigation to determine the cause of the fire outbreaks.