Construction of $2m Catholic Church Administered Hospital Launched in South Sudan
CANAA || By Father Don Bosco Onyalla, Nairobi || 23 April 2018
The construction of a health facility estimated to cost $2million has been launched in Nzara’s township of South Sudan with the laying of a foundation stone.
The launch took place on Saturday, April 21, presided over by Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro KUSSALA of Tombura-Yambio diocese.
The health facility, which will be administered by the Catholic diocese of Tombura-Yambio, will include surgical theatres, a maternity clinic and ward, a surgical ward, and a blood bank.
In his speech during the laying of the foundation stone, Bishop Barani described the launch of the construction as historical and a sign of peace in his war-torn country saying, “Despite the persisting negative impacts of the civil war in our country, today we are witnessing an active gesture of peace which is extremely opposed to war.”
This year, South Sudan’s civil war entered its fifth year. The conflict started in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup d'état, accusations Machar denied.
“The project was initiated by the (Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio) CDTY, the Comboni Sisters, CMMB, Edmond Rice Foundation, Sudan Relief Fund and many of our close friends,” Bishop Barani stated in his speech shared with CANAA.
The health facility has been dedicated to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus.
Below is the full text of Bishop Barani’s speech at the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the health facility in Nzara, South Sudan.
Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony
Welcome address by Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY), South Sudan,
April 21st 2018
Honorable Governor of Gbudue State,
Honorable State Minister of Health, Gbudue State,
Honorable Nzara County Commissioner,
Vicar General of CDTY
Comboni Sisters Community Superior,
Member of Catholic Medical Bureau representing all our Funding Partners,
Representative of WHO,
Representative of Health Pull Fund,
Unimiss Head Field Officer,
Reverend Fathers and religious sisters,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Fellow Community members of the people of Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio,
Today’s ceremony marks the transition from planning to reality. For all of us it is an historical day especially the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio. Since I became a bishop nearly ten years ago I have had always prayed and planned to provide efficient and effective health center for the neediest in society. Despite the persisting negative impacts of the civil war in our country, today we are witnessing an active gesture of peace which is extremely opposed to war.
We just celebrated the Resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ, proclaiming the victory of Christ over evil. Our message during this Easter period has consistently remain: Preserve and protect every life. With the Risen Lord, we are laying a foundation stone today for a modern hospital, Jesus my Lord, thank you indeed! Lord Jesus stay with us as chief architect of this construction. (If the Lord does not build in vain does the laborer work). Stay with us Lord! (Mt.24:23).
A number of us have been involved in the project since its very beginning when we, the CDTY posed out the opportunity. First and foremost, let me bring to the surface all the formidable partners who have got this project on fit; the Comboni Sisters, Edmond Rice Foundation, CMMB, Sudan Relief Fund, Government of Gbudue State, CODEP – CDTY, and others. My sincere thanks to each and everyone of you!
I am very confident that we will continue the very good cooperation between all our esteemed partners that has characterized this project so far. Our common goal is to ensure that the new building complex will become reality as planned to provide St. Theresa Hospital in Nzara with healthy and functional headquarters while keeping the building costs within the foreseen budget and using our resources responsibly. Our new premises will be functional and will meet the complex requirements of any secondary Hospital.
What are we laying the foundation stone to this morning?
1- Surgical Theatres
2- Maternity Clinic and Ward
3- Surgical Ward
4- Blood Bank
This is project is estimated to cost us all close to $ 2,000,000 USD (two Million American Dollars) or above!
Our new premises will allow for the necessary flexibility to foster interaction and communications both among our health staff and the public. At the same time, our new premises will reflect the values – respect and protection of life, integrity, excellence, efficiency and transparency – that are essential to our activities. We are also committed to ecological sustainability: to this end, our new premises will also be environmentally friendly and energy-efficient (we have already a strong solar energy provision in this hospital)
I am delighted to stand here with all of you today to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone and to wish our new building and all of us good luck and a smooth construction phase.
The laying of the foundation stone marks the start of the main construction works for the new full-fledged secondary Hospital. Let me reiterate the different steps so far and take the opportunity to point out some of our main partners in this process so far.
The project was initiated by the CDTY, the Comboni Sisters, CMMB, Edmond Rice Foundation, Sudan Relief Fund and many of our close friends. We can admire the beauty of working together, of team work and of respect for our difference for greater good. The project then took shape under the administration of our newly set Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CODEP). I pay sincere tribute to Sr. Laura, our ironed Combini religious sister, all the leaders of our funding partners who believed so much the establishing and realizing of this project of hospital construction.
Back then, when the CODEP had barely been founded, none of us could really imagine just how much time and effort such a project would call for.
My sincere thanks and gratitude goes to the County Commissioner of Nzara Hon. Elias Box (our visionary man of the year) and Hon. Daniel Badagbu the Governor of Gbudue State for the true friendship, collaboration and of community driven leaders who gave to the Church enough allocation of land for this project and also for future expansion. Thank you Commissioner, thank Governor and thank you the great people of Nzara County.
The decision in favour of the chosen site was taken on the basis of a variety of criteria, such as the size of the site and its location, the interest of CDTY (By the way we spent nearly 50 percent of our yearly budget in Nzara, this area has huge programs of the diocese) The size of the site – and of the building to come – has been chosen in view to possible extensions.
I can remember the presentation of all the designs of this hospital truly captured an international (urban planning and architectural) design competition, the great variety of ideas from all over. Since this design was made in Australia, it took the standard of a European institution and how a modern hospital should look like. When deciding on the site in 2017, we aimed at preserving a building that was remarkable in its own time.
I would like to thank Dr. Daniel from Australia, the consultants who prepared and organized the international architectural design that generated so many ideas. I would also like to thank the jury for their work and express my appreciation of their endeavours to find the right design for the task.
Deciding on the building that is required to serve the purposes of a modern hospital is a difficult task. I remember how my colleagues in partnerships and administration and I became deeply involved in details when deciding on the final design at the end of the revision phase.
Throughout the last few years, all the parties involved in this St. Theresa Hospital have worked closely together with unfailing energy, determination and conviction to finally make this event possible today.
I am proud of all the work carried out. My partners in the donor community, members of my administration in the diocese and I were and are being informed regularly about the development and the progress of the project. We are aware of our being a demanding task-master, asking for a perfect building, as well as for sound and transparent processes on the way towards attaining it.
We are simply aiming for the best possible building for providing a healthy and safe environment for our needy brothers and sisters - the sick, health staff and visitors, while at the same time ensuring an efficient and effective functioning of the institution. I am happy that we have come so far today and we are still far and we are going far!
Such a project can only become reality if the City authorities and above all the State authority too, prove their commitment, cooperation, people’s interest, etc. So, I would also like once more to express my gratitude to County Commissioner Hon. Richard Elia Box, Governor Badagbu Rimbassa of Gbudue State and the different departments of Gbudue State, the donors partners, Sisterly NGOs, especially the State Survey and Planning Department.
This is no time for complacency. We still have many challenges to face, and we have to make sure that the construction work proceeds smoothly. I am looking forward to seeing an effective and efficient hospital which can carry out research, diagnose, find and treat my people into full healthy body and spirit.
I have full trust in all of you who are involved in the project working for our new hospital, and in your expertise and knowledge to ensure the successful finalization of our building – within schedule and budget, of course, as we are responsible for using our resources effectively and efficiently.
I have advised our team, the CODEP administration and our diocesan Engineer, to monitor the works carefully and to keep a close eye on the quality, on the scheduling and on the costs of the project – the budget has to be respected (we are aware of the market situation). This is essential.
Since most of the funding has come our esteemed Partners, CMMB, SRF, Edmond Rice Foundation, CDTY is prepared to carry out huge fundraising exercise as soon as possible, equally a directive have been given to the three parishes in Nzara County to be ready to contribute for the construction of this hospital in any needed form. Our Vicar General Mons Anthony Bangoye will actualize this plan.
With this project we are saying this is historical but also a big stipend for peace! This is in a way how war can be stopped simply by engaging in programs and activities that can promote wholeness and wellness of every human person.
Today, I want to once more thank my dear Diocesan Health Manager, Dr. John Gbono Bono, Sister Laura, Dr. Taban, Sr. Jean Francis, Fr. John Ngbapia the director of CODEP, CMMB, SRF, Comboni Sisters, All partners, Edmond Rice Foundation, State Government of Gbudue, all our CDTY staff, the people of Greater Western Equatoria, South Sudan, CAR, DRC, etc.– for the excellent work achieved thus far, the development of the project within the expected and required quality and costs estimate and for the successful tendering of the construction works and readiness to see the whole plan accomplished. Amen!
I wish all of those who will either be continuing to work or who are just starting to work for our new building all the best and good endeavours!
From day one of this project I have had entrusted it to St. Theresa of the child Jesus, St. Josephine Bakhita, Titarani Gasi Abangite (whose vision this hospital is) and now to the Risen Lord to provide a decent place of medication to our people. St. Theresa pray for us and may all who are engaged in this project be blessed and may we realize its completion with you, Amen!
God bless you all,
Barani Eduardo Hiiboro KUSSALA
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio