Upper Nile State's election logistic warehouse was officially handed over to the State Election High Committee by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Malakal on 26 February.
"The warehouse is well-constructed and we thank UNDP," said Committee Election Chief Returning Officer Peter Gonywur at the inauguration ceremony, adding that UNDP had also bought a car and rented another to support Committee activities.
He noted, however, that the Committee still needed 119 cars to help distribute election materials. Moreover, the warehouse could use a latrine and gravel outside to keep vehicles from getting stuck in the mud during the rainy season.
Acknowledging these requirements, UNDP Logistic Officer Asobasi Ayub said, "We will add some more gravel soon and additional funding has been requested from donors to build a latrine."
The World Bank's Multi Donor Trust Fund funded the state election logistic warehouse through UNDP, while the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) acted as the implementing agency.
Actually a large tent purchased from Norway, the warehouse is the first of 10 to be erected within Southern Sudan. "Besides Upper Nile State, UNOPS will also erect tents for election logistic warehouses in Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, Northern Bahr El Gazhal, and Warrap states. Each state will have two warehouses," Mr. Ayub said.
Other states already had buildings they could use as logistic warehouses, he added.
In view of the tight schedule for elections, UNOPS would need to work quickly as it needed 45 days to erect one tent, said an official of that agency who wished to remain anonymous.